Crystal Field Theory and Gems--Guided Inquiry

Submitted by Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College on Sat, 05/14/2016 - 21:42

The colors of transition metal compounds are highly variable. Aqueous solutions of nickel are green, of copper are blue, and of vanadium can range from yellow to blue to green to violet. What is the origin of these colors? A simple geometrical model known as crystal field theory can be used to differentiate the 5 d orbitals in energy. When an electron in a low-lying orbital interacts with visible light, the electron can be promoted to a higher-lying orbital with the absorption of a photon. Our brains perceive this as color.

Build-Your-Own Molecular Orbitals

Submitted by Anne Bentley / Lewis & Clark College on Fri, 02/19/2016 - 12:44

This is a truly hands-on activity in which students manipulate paper cutouts of carbon atomic orbitals and oxygen group orbitals to identify combinations with identical symmetry and build the carbon dioxide molecular orbital diagram. The activity pairs well with the treatment of MO theory in Miessler, Fischer, and Tarr, Chapter 5. An optional computational modeling component can be added at the end.

Otterbein Symmetry In-Class Activity/Take home activity

Submitted by Kyle Grice / DePaul University on Mon, 01/25/2016 - 21:26

<p>This is an in-class activity I made for my students in a Junior/Senior-level one-quarter inorganic course.&nbsp;</p><p>Unfortunately it was waaay too long for the 1.5 h class (i gave them about 45 min). I recommend taking this and adapting it to a take-home exercise or homework set, which is probably what I will do this coming year.&nbsp;</p><p>Students used Otterbein to look at various structures, starting with low symmetry, working up to very high symmetry structures.

Materials Project

Submitted by Barbara Reisner / James Madison University on Fri, 06/12/2015 - 16:58

The Materials Project is part of the Materials Genome Initiative that uses high-througput computing to uncover the properties of inorganic materials.

It's possible to search for materials and their properties

It employs high-throughput computation approaches and IT to create a system that can be used to predict properties and construct phase diagrams andPourbaix diagrams.

Visualization of Zeolite Structure

Submitted by EGunn / Simmons College on Tue, 01/06/2015 - 15:56

Students use a Java-based website to explore the faujasite zeolite structure. The activity questions guide them through identifying different atomic positions within the structure, and orienting the zeolite pores and "cages" relative to the crystal axes. 

Maggie's LOs

Submitted by Chip Nataro / Lafayette College on Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:25

A Tale of Two Structures

Submitted by Chip Nataro / Lafayette College on Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:32

In this activity, students will compare and contrast two closely related structures, [Pd(dcpf)PR3]2+ (dcpf = 1,1'-bis(dicyclohexylphosphino)ferrocene; R = Me or Ph). They will be required to obtain the cif files from the supporting information of a paper. They will then make a variety of measurments in the two stuctures. These measurements can be made using a variety of different freely available programs. Instructions are provided for Mercury 3.3 and Olex2. Finally, students will be required to provide a rationale for the differences in the two structures.

Suite of LOs on Biomimetic Modeling

Submitted by Sheila Smith / University of Michigan- Dearborn on Mon, 08/04/2014 - 09:52

This suite of activities can be used as a unit exploring the use of small molecule models and biophysical techniques to illuminate complicated biomolecules.  The Parent LO:  Modeling the FeB center in bacterial Nitric Oxide reductase is a short, data-filled and well-written article that is approachable with an undergraduate's level of understanding.