This article provides an entry point for students to apply their knowledge of electron configurations and molecular orbital theory to the lanthanide and actinide elements. We have provided a large number of possible questions to use, grouped by theme. Instructors can pick and choose questions that best fit their course.
When transitioning into inorganic chemistry from organic chemistry, students are surprised by the complexity of metal complexes. To ease this transition, students are asked to look at the crystal structure of a coordination complex [(+/-)cis-dichloro-bis(ethylenediamine)-cobalt(III) chloride monohydrate], make some observations about what they see, and provide a list of questions that they would like answered. Students usually note that there are atoms/ions that are "floating" and are seemingly unattached to anything else in the structure.
At a recent SLiThEr workshop, a request was put out for an introduction to the Jahn-Teller effect. I had already prepared several slides showcasing single crystal X-ray data for my class this spring so I put this together with some additional examples from my lab and the literature. Single crystal XRD data is presented to support the claims.
In this paper (Llewellyn, Green and Cowley, Dalton Trans. 2006, 4164-4168) the synthesis and characterization of two cobalt compounds with an N-heterocyclic carbene ligand (IMes) are reported. the first, [Co(CO)3(IMes)Me] was prepared by the reaction of [Co(CO)3(PPh3)Me] with IMes. The second compound, [Co(CO)3(IMes)COMe] is formed by the addition of Co to the first.
This paper (Gayen, F.R.; Ali, A.A.; Bora, D.; Roy, S.; Saha, S.; Saikia, L.; Goswamee, R.L. and Saha, B. Dalton Trans. 2020, 49, 6578) describes the synthesis, characterization and catalytic activity of a copper complex with a ferrocene-containing Schiff base ligand. The article is relatively short but packed with information. However, many of the details that are assumed knowledge in the article make for wonderful questions some of which I hope I have captured.
I've been meaning to write an LO on non-classical metal carbonyl complexes for a long time. This paper describes the synthesis and characterization of a gold carbonyl prepared in superacidic media. The LO asks the students to do some relatively straightforward reduced mass calculations to predict the 13C labeled CO stretch from the unlabeled one, but then asks the students to think about /why/ the Au-CO stretch is /higher/ than that of free CO.
These slides provide an introduction to s-p mixing in diatomic molecular orbital diagrams appropriate for students in a general chemistry course.
I created this activity as a way to get the class involved in creating new, fun ways to teach course concepts (selfishly- that part is for me) and for students to review concepts prior to the final exam (for them). Students use a template to create a 15-20 min activity that can be used in groups during class to teach a concept we have learned during the semester. We then randomly assign the activities and students work in groups to complete them and provide feedback.
The benefits are twofold:
April 2021 update: I am in the process of expanding this laboratory and have now recorded videos, linked below, on youtube. There is a video of general air sensitive reaction setup, the synthesis and isolation of the mesitylene and the N,N-diethylaniline derivatives. I also have better quality data which I will add here as well.
This is the classic Chromatography of Ferrocene Derivatives experiment from "Synthesis and Technique in Inorganic Chemistry" 3rd Ed. (1986 pp 157-168) by R. J. Angelici.