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The University of Southampton

CHEM1045 Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry I for non-chemists

Module Overview

Pre-requisites for this are A-level Chemistry or the equivalent

Aims and Objectives

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
  • 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.


• 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.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, problem-solving tutorials with group working and tutor support Feedback is provided • In tutorials through assistance with the set work. • Through the marks achieved in the in online tests. • Through generic feedback following the examinations. • Upon request by viewing of marked examination script

Preparation for scheduled sessions24
Wider reading or practice17
Total study time75

Resources & Reading list

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

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

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

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

J S Ogden. Introduction to Molecular Symmetry. 

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

D Williams, I Fleming (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 (2nd Edition). 

M J Winter. Chemical Bonding. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Assessed Tutorials 10%
Exam  (2 hours) 90%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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