Molecular structure

7 Apr 2019

Encapsulation of Small Molecule Guests by a Self-Assembling Superstructure

Submitted by Shirley Lin, United States Naval Academy
Evaluation Methods: 

I have not yet implemented this LO. As with other literature discussions, instructors could collect the completed worksheets (by an individual student or in groups of students) for evaluation.

Evaluation Results: 

I have not yet implemented this LO so there are currently no evaluation results to share.


This literature discussion focuses upon two journal articles by the Rebek group on the synthesis and host-guest chemistry observed with the "tennis ball." 

Learning Goals: 

After completing this literature discussion, students will be able to:

  • provide examples of supramolecular systems in nature that use reversible, weak noncovalent interactions 
  • define terms in supramolecular chemistry such as host, guest, and self-complementary
  • identify the number and location of hydrogen bonds within the "tennis ball" assembly
  • draw common organic reaction mechanisms for the synthesis of the "tennis ball" subunits
  • describe the physical and spectroscopic/spectrometric techniques used to provide evidence for assembly of a host-guest system
  • explain the observed thermodynamic parameters that are important for encapsulation of small molecule guests by the "tennis ball"
Implementation Notes: 

This LO could be used at the end of a traditional 2-semester organic chemistry sequence as an introduction to organic supramolecular systems, as an organic chemistry example within a discussion about inorganic supramolecular chemistry, or in an upper-division elective course about supramolecular chemistry. The LO topic, the "tennis ball," has a published laboratory experiment in J. Chem. Educ. (found here). Time permitting, instructors could have students read the article and complete the literature discussion before executing the experiment in the lab.

As usual, instructors may wish to mix-and-match questions to suit their learning goals.

Time Required: 
depends upon implementation; minimum of 20-30 minutes for the literature discussion if students read an d answer questions outside of class
12 Dec 2018

Foundations Inorganic Chemistry for New Faculty

Submitted by Chip Nataro, Lafayette College

What is a foundations inorganic course? Here is a great description


Course Level: 
23 Jun 2018
Evaluation Methods: 

 A key is provided for the discussion questions. The discussion questions can be collected and graded.


The activity is designed to be a literature discussion based on Nicolai Lehnert's Inorganic Chemistry paper, Mechanism of N-N Bond Formation by Transition Metal-Nitrosyl Complexes: Modeling Flavodiiron Nitric Oxide Reductases.  The discussion questions are designed for an advanced level inorganic course. 


Course Level: 
Learning Goals: 

Upon completion of this activity, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the overall research goal(s) of the paper.

  2. Define and identify non-innocent ligands.

  3. Identify how electron density on the metal center can impact ligand coordination.

  4. Draw molecular orbital diagrams for coordination compounds.

  5. Identify covalency by interpreting molecular orbital diagrams and data.

  6. Define and interpret Enemark-Feltham notation.

  7. Recognize spin multiplicity of the metal and ligand fragments in a complex and how it corresponds to the overall spin multiplicity.

  8. Identify possible electronic structures of {FeNO} complexes.

  9. Describe various characteristics to be considered in the selection of a good reductant.

  10. Explain how occupying bonding versus antibonding orbitals changes the reactivity of a system.

Implementation Notes: 

This is a very involved article with lots of great concepts. It will take a lot of time to read. We suggest giving this as a student group assignment. Give the students a copy of the article and discussion questions. Give them 1-2 weeks to read through the article and complete the discussion questions. Spend one or two 50 min. class periods going over the discussion questions. 

Note: This was developed during the 2018 VIPEr Workshop and has not been implemented, yet. Above instructions are an initial guide, any feedback is welcome and appreciated!

Time Required: 
50-90 min.


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