Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

CHEM1046 Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry II for non-chemists

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of the module are: The aim of this course is to provide a core for future studies in chemistry and allied subjects, in aspects of inorganic chemistry as specified below Teaching in this course recognises the diversity of our intake in terms of A level syllabus followed and choice of non-Chemistry A level subjects (maths, physics, etc.). The aim of the NMR section of the unit is to provide an introduction to modern NMR spectroscopy, and structure prediction and solution using the technique. The aim of the Transition Metal Elements section of the unit is to provide an introduction to coordination chemistry and the chemistry of compounds of the transition metal elements. The primary objective of the Main Group Elements section of the unit is to provide an introduction to the ‘descriptive chemistry’ of the elements and to demonstrate how electronic properties can influence reactivity, atomic size and other physical and chemical properties of the elements.

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.
  • 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.


• 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

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 scripts.

Wider reading or practice17
Preparation for scheduled sessions24
Total study time75

Resources & Reading list

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

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

M J Winter. Chemical Bonding. 

J S Ogden. Introduction to Molecular Symmetry. 

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 (2009). Chemistry3: Introducing inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. 





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


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 100%

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: CHEM1035 or CHEM1045

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.