The University of Southampton
Courses

CHEM1035 Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry I

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to provide a core for future studies in Inorganic chemistry and allied subjects, in the following areas; modern ideas of chemical bonding; the shapes and symmetry of molecules; an introduction to spectroscopy and structure solving; an introduction to basic practical skills including safe working practices (risk, hazard and control measures); laboratory report writing (written and verbal communication of results); error and accuracy. Teaching in this module recognises the diversity of our intake in terms of A level syllabus followed and choice of non-Chemistry A level subjects (maths, physics, etc.). Theory component: The aim of the first section of the Inorganic course is to provide an introduction to the various theories of covalent bonding that allow explanation of the shapes, bonding within, and properties of simple inorganic compounds, and to hence build a foundation for further learning in Inorganic chemistry. The second section of the module introduces Inorganic extended lattice structures, including discussion of the energetics of ionic bonding and consideration of packing of spherical atoms or ions to form lattices which maximise the bonding interactions. Some aspects of the chemistry of Groups 1 and 2 in extended lattice systems are also presented. Practical component: The aim of the practical component of the module is to provide students with the skills that will be needed in their future practical work. Instruction is provided regarding the in the presentation of practical reports, awareness of health and safety procedures, practical skills in the laboratory (and the theory on which they are based) and problem solving in the practical situation. During the first semester some of this instruction will take place in Seminars that precede the practical classes. Students will undertake as series of four experiments. Each experiment is also preceded by a prelaboratory exercise that involves a combination of audio visual resources, accessible via Blackboard, that will help prepare you for the experimental work. A short quiz based on this content is to be completed before starting practical work. There are separate learning outcomes for each experiment and these are further specified in the practical scripts.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Qualitatively discuss the structure of a multi-electron atom and the basis of the Periodic Table
  • Set up glassware and apparatus to conduct experiments in Inorganic Chemistry.
  • Interpret data from a range of physical techniques to characterise inorganic compounds.
  • Present the results of a practical investigation in a concise manner.
  • Describe bonding models that can be applied to a consideration of the properties of simple molecules
  • Construct appropriate qualitative energy level diagrams to explain molecular properties
  • Determine the shapes and symmetry properties of simple Inorganic compounds and ions
  • Calculate lattice enthalpy using the Born-Mayer equation and Born-Haber cycles, and use both to explain aspects of behaviour in extended lattice systems
  • Describe formation of a number of simple inorganic structures in terms of close packing and hole filling, and draw these structures
  • Perform calculations relating parameters such bond length, ionic/metallic radii, unit cell size, density, packing density and number of lattice points in the unit cell
  • Use bonding principles from parts 1 and 2 to describe aspects of the chemistry of Groups 1 and 2.
  • Evaluate the risks associated with an experiment and understand how to mitigate against those risks.

Syllabus

• Atomic orbital theory • Hydrogenic atoms, wavefunctions and their solutions, quantum numbers and atomic orbitals • Radial and angular wavefunctions and the shapes of atomic orbitals • Electron spin, aufbau principles, electronic structure, shielding/penetration and the Periodic Table • Covalent bonding in diatomic molecules, Lewis model and valence bond theory • Molecular orbital theory, boundary surface diagrams, sp-mixing and energy level diagrams • Valence bond and molecular orbital theory for polyatomic molecules, hybridisation, resonance, hypervalency • Shapes and symmetry of molecules; VSEPR, geometry, symmetry elements/operations and point groups • Extended lattices, ionic bonding, comparison with molecular structures and coordination numbers • Born-Haber cycles, Born-Mayer calculations and their use in discussion of stability of structures • Lattice descriptions – translations, lattice points, the unit cell, crystal systems, Bravais lattices and cell settings • Close packing including stacking arrangements, hcp and ccp unit cells, packing density, and positions and sizes of octahedral and tetrahedral holes; metal structures • Simple ionic-derived structures – CsCl, NaCl, ZnS (x 2), NiAs, TiO2, diamond and crystabolite • Ionic chemistry of the Group 1 and 2 elements. • Completion of four practical experiments and associated reports covering a range of topics and skills in inorganic chemistry including the application of a variety of fundamental techniques and methodologies (including spectroscopy) to the synthesis and analysis of molecules and materials; the ability to understand and communicate the experimental methods and outcomes; understanding the importance of experimental safety and time management.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, problem-solving Seminars with group working and tutor support Practical chemistry: Prelaboratory e-learning; pre-lab skills lectures/ Seminars; practical sessions, supporting demonstrations, group and one-to-one tuition Practical hours includes pre-laboratory e-learning.

TypeHours
Follow-up work24
Wider reading or practice15
Lecture24
Revision10
Practical24
Preparation for scheduled sessions48
Tutorial5
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

James Keeler and Peter Wothers (2008). Chemical Stucture and Reactivity. 

J S Ogden. Introduction to Molecular Symmetry. 

W G Richards and P R Scott. Energy Levels in Atoms and Molecules. 

M J Winter. Chemical Bonding. 

C. E. Housecroft and A. G. Sharpe (2012). Inorganic Chemistry. 

D Williams, I Fleming (2008). Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry. 

M Hesse, H Meier, B Zeeh (2008). Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry. 

Andrew Burrows, John Holman, Andrew Parsons, Gwen Pilling, and Gareth Price (2013). Chemistry3: Introducing inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. 

D M P Mingos (1995). Essentials of Inorganic Chemistry 1. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

The practical and theory (examination plus tutorial) components must be passed separately at the module pass mark for the student’s programme, i.e. 40% if core, 25% if compulsory or optional (if compensation is allowed). All absences from practical sessions must be validated. Unexcused absences will result in failure of the module.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1.5 hours) 65%
Practical write-ups 25%
Tutorial sheets 10%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1.5 hours) 75%
Practical write-ups 25%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Repeat year externally: allowed if practical component passed. The practical marks are retained, the theory assessment is exam only. Repeat year internally: note that practical may be reassessed by resubmission of reports or repeated.

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