Housecroft and Sharpe (Inorganic Chemistry, 3ed): This is a comprehensive inorganic textbook designed primarily for students at the Junior/Senior level. P-Chem would not be needed as a prerequisite for this text, but would be helpful. It includes both theoretical and descriptive material along with special topics, enough for a two semester course though it is easily adaptable to a one-semester "advanced inorganic" course by choosing only some topics. It is written in a clear and generally readable style and the full-color graphic contribute to student understanding. Ancillaries include electronic versions of most figures, and a student site with a limited number of multiple choice review questions for each chapter. The 3rd edition updates the end-of -the-chapter problems, though disappointingly does not draw problems from the recent literature. In general, these are good review problems to make sure students understand the basic concepts, but some faculty will want to supplement student assignments with more challenging problems. The list price for the student text is $175 for a paperback, 1098p version.
The reaction chemistry of aqueous copper(II) ions with ammonia is commonly used in both general chemistry and inorganic chemistry texts to illustrate the equilibria of complex ions in solution. Although the system initially seems simple, further analysis of the chemical species involved shows that it is in fact quite complicated. First of all, ammonia is a weak base and its basic equilibrium reaction must be taken into account. Second, although the aquated copper(II) ion is the most prevalent ion in solution before ammonia is added, this species is itself a weak acid. Third, a series of four coordination complex equilibria are established once ammonia is added. Finally, sparingly soluble copper(II) hydroxide precipitates as the hydroxide concentration rises due to the ammonia base equilibrium.
Typically, when the reaction chemistry of copper(II) with ammonia is discussed, the acid-base and precipitation equilibria are ignored. Although the mathematical description of the full system is unwieldy, it can be solved numerically using a software program such as MathCad, Mathematica or Maple. Such a treatment provides a thorough description of the real chemical system, complete with precipitation and redissolution of the copper hydroxide precipitate. This seemingly simple system encompasses three major classes of equilibrium chemistry commonly taught in inorganic chemistry: acid-base, complex ion formation, and solubility.
much more information here:
standard glassware, buret
The students prepare a short proposal outlining their desired target and why they want to make it. Chemicals are ordered, and during the last 3-4 weeks of the semester, the students carry out their synthesis. The writeup is as a paper submtited to the journal Inorganic Chemistry using the template from the journal web page.
This is a favorite lab at HMC. I increased the length of the experiment to 4 weeks from 2 weeks during 2007, allowing more time for exploration, optimization, and characterization of their products. Past targets have inlucded Wilkinson’s catalyst, ionic liquids, Zr(ebthi)Cl2 (challenging), siloxane polymers (difficult to characterize).
I highly recommend that students submit proposed syntheses early to get them approved. The students are often either way too ambitious, or too tentative and want to make some simple thing from another lab manual. I like them to do two linear steps (more for stronger students.)
•This activity provides a fun way of examining the historic use of inorganic compounds as pigments. Students learn about some of the pigments used in paintings, optionally researching particular artworks that use these pigments, and then make and use paints based on these inorganic compounds. This is an excellent “last day of the semester” activity.
There will be nice slides of the structures of some of these pigments and slides of famous painting which use them as soon as I can figure out how to upload a 66 MB file!!!
Inorganic Chemistry and art:
Various inorganic compounds that are generally available in ores, or simply made from historically available ingredients. Some suggestions:
Celadonite or Glaucinite (often the geology department will have plenty of this to give you): K[(Al, Fe3+)(Fe2+,Mg)](AlSi3, Si4)O10(OH)2
This is a good opportunity to “use up” some of the ancient bottles of inorganic salts that are not used in any current experiment that are in your stockroom or dusty cabinets.
Materials and equipment
Mortars and pestles
Plastic or glass stirring rods (some metals will discolor the paints)
Small canvases (purchased at a craft or art supply store)
Inexpensive paint brushes, several sizes (purchased at a craft or art supply store)
Lots of newspaper to protect lab surfaces
Linseed oil (purchased at a craft or art supply store)