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The University of Southampton

CHEM1036 Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry II

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the physical basis, the limitations and the information available from NMR spectroscopy as a structural method.
  • Present the results of a practical investigation in a concise manner.
  • Qualitatively predict and/or interpret the NMR spectra of simple molecular species.
  • Qualitatively discuss simple trends in the physical properties of transition metals and their formation of coordination complexes with ligands.
  • Describe bonding models that can be applied to a consideration of the properties of transition metal compounds.
  • Recognise fundamental variables and general trends across the periodic table and predict molecular geometries and structures, recognising the importance of inert-pair effect, coordination geometries, oxidation state, electronegativity, ionisation energy, VSEPR, etc..
  • Identify the structures and properties of some important Groups 13-18 elements and their compounds with a view to gaining a better understanding of broad diversity in their chemical properties, their importance in the natural environment and their role in the development of bonding theories.
  • Evaluate the risks associated with an experiment and understand how to mitigate against those risks.
  • Set up glassware and apparatus to conduct experiments in Inorganic Chemistry.
  • Interpret data from a range of physical techniques to characterise inorganic componds.


• Topic 1 – Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy • Basis of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy • Chemical shift, chemical shielding, coupling, decoupling and isotopomers • Application to general molecular species including main group and transition metal examples • Emphasis placed on and spectral prediction from structure and structural elucidation from spectra • Topic 2 - Transition Metal Chemistry • Properties of the d-block elements, ligands, dn configurations, oxidation states and trends • Electrode potentials, Latimer and Frost diagrams • Coordination geometries, isomerism in coordination complexes • Ligand classifications and bonding interactions • Crystal Field Theory; common crystal field splittings (octahedral, tetrahedral and square-planar) • High and low spin cases, Crystal Field Stabilisation Energy (CFSE), and its structural and thermodynamic consequences • The spectrochemical series, and other factors affecting the crystal field splitting parameter, Δ • The Jahn-Teller effect • Colour, electronic spectroscopy (d¹) and selection rules • Magnetism and determination of number of unpaired electrons • Complex stability and the chelate effect • Topic 3 - Main Group Chemistry • Periodicity – variations in electronegativity, oxidation state, metallic character, atomic size and ionisation energy within the periodic table • Comparative main group chemistry • Trends in the chemistry of the elements of Groups 13, 14, 15; bond character and strengths; acid-base chemistry, Brønsted-Lowry systems, Lewis systems and donor-acceptor compounds • Trends in the chemistry of the elements of Groups 16, 17 and 18; investigation of their natural occurrence, halides, hydrides, oxides, oxoacids and interhalogen chemistry • 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 advanced 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

Follow-up work24
Wider reading or practice15
Preparation for scheduled sessions48
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

M J Winter. Chemical Bonding. 

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

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

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

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

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

J S Ogden. Introduction to Molecular Symmetry. 


Assessment Strategy

All absences from practical sessions must be validated. Unexcused absences will result in failure of the module. 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.




MethodPercentage contribution
Assessed Tutorials 10%
Examination  (2 hours) 65%
Lab proficiency 
Practical write-ups 25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%
Lab proficiency 

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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