The Organometallic Chemistry Behind the Polymer of Squares (Chirik)

Submitted by Megan Mohadjer Beromi / United States Naval Academy on Sat, 02/20/2021 - 12:34

The discussion covers a 2021 publication by the Chirik group (Nature Chemistry, 2021, DOI: 10.1038/s41557-020-00614-w) which details the discovery of a new way to polymerize butadiene through iron-catalyzed [2+2] cycloadd

Linkage Photoisomerization of SO2 Bound to Osmium

Submitted by Nicole Crowder / University of Mary Washington on Thu, 01/07/2021 - 16:34

In this literature discussion, students are asked to explore the chemistry behind a eta-1 to eta-2 linkage photoisomer of sulfur dioxide bound to pentammine osmium. There are questions that tie to chemical structure and the nature of the two bonding modes of the ligand as well as an examination of the spectroscopic properties of the complex in the solid state. Two of the questions ask students to draw some conclusions based on their knowledge of periodic trends and the sigma donor ability of ligands.

SLiThEr #7: Assessment Using Literature Discussions

Submitted by Kyle Grice / DePaul University on Tue, 12/29/2020 - 17:55

This is the seventh SLiThEr () in the series. In this presentation/discussion, Dr. Shirley Lin explains how she used a literature discussion with students to assess their learning and knowledge. This was for a upper-division senior seminar course. In particular, she discusses questions at various levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. She also explains how to use concepts from Chemical Education Research to really dig down and assess student knowledge. 

SLiThEr #1: Creating online inorganic chemistry labs

Submitted by Kyle Grice / DePaul University on Tue, 12/29/2020 - 14:29

This is the link to the first SLiThEr (Supporting Learning with Interactive Teaching: a Hosted, Engaging Roundtable), presented by Kyle Grice and Hosted by Chip Nataro. The SLiThEr was recorded and posted on YouTube (see the web resources link). 

Molecular Orbital and Bond Polarity

Submitted by W. Stephen McNeil / University of British Columbia Okanagan on Wed, 12/16/2020 - 15:30

In 2009, Flick Coleman at Wellesley whipped up a brilliant little web-based tool that showed how the electronegativity and energy difference of atomic orbitals leads to changes in the resulting molecular orbitals. I've used it every year. But it runs on Flash, Flash is about to die forever (no longer supported as of Jan 2021), and I don't think Flick is going to make us an HTML5 version. (And wow I know I can't do that. Does somebody else know how to do that?)

Comparing Homonuclear and Heteronuclear Diatomic Molecules with WebMO

Submitted by Catherine McCusker / East Tennessee State University on Wed, 11/04/2020 - 13:07

Students first learn the basics of WebMO by building and optimizing 2 small molecules. They then calculate and visualize the molecular orbitals of two diatomic molecules (N2 and BF) and observe how going from a homonuclear to heteronuclear molecule changes the shape of different molecular orbitals. 

As written this activity uses the WebMO demo server so no computational chemistry software/licences are required.

Delta and Phi Bonding in Actinide Complexes

Submitted by Anne Bentley / Lewis & Clark College on Sun, 10/25/2020 - 13:28

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.

N-stabilized carbenes and applications in the literature

Submitted by Brad Wile / Ohio Northern University on Mon, 09/07/2020 - 20:51

This literature discussion was based on a short, readable piece from the trade magazine Chemical and Engineering News. Since this was written in a more general tone, it served as a reasonable introduction to carbenes for students in my advanced inorganic class. I have been looking to expand the examples of carbenes presented to students beyond those in the text. Simple examples of Fischer, Schrock, and N-heterocyclic carbenes are plentiful, but modern applications haven't been featured in the text that I use.

Jahn-Teller effect, theory and examples

Submitted by Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College on Thu, 08/06/2020 - 18:44

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.