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The University of Southampton

CHEM1048 Structure and bonding

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Explain aspects of the structure of hydrogenic atoms, including quantum numbers, electron spin, aufbau principles, electronic structure, shielding and penetration
  • Draw radial and angular wavefunctions, and boundary surface diagrams to describe the shapes of atomic orbitals
  • Construct molecular orbital energy level diagrams for homo- and heterodiatomic molecules
  • Use Lewis structures and VSEPR to explain bonding, geometry and shapes in molecules and ions
  • Assign symmetry elements and point groups to molecules and ions
  • Explain lattice structures in terms of packing, ionic bonding and energetics, and draw metallic and ionic-derived structures
  • Calculate lattice parameter, distances between ions, packing density and gravimetric density of ionic solids
  • Describe the ionic chemistry of groups 1 and 2
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Meet the learning outcomes of a co-requisite practical module.


AO/MO theory: Hydrogenic atoms, 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; Linear combinations of atomic orbitals; Molecular orbital theory, boundary surface diagrams, sp-mixing and energy level diagrams of homo- and heterodiatomic molecules; Shape and symmetry of molecules; Lewis structures of polyatomic molecules and ions, including formal charges and resonance structure. VSEPR, geometry and shape of molecules and ions; Molecular symmetry elements and operations; Introduction to point groups and symmetry classification. Ionic chemistry and lattice structures: Ionic bonding model; Description of lattices – lattice points, the unit cell, crystal systems, Bravais lattices; Hexagonal and cubic close packing including stacking arrangements, packing density, interstitial holes; metal structures; Simple ionic-derived structures e.g. CsCl, NaCl, ZnS (x 2), NiAs, TiO2, and calculation of their densities and lattice parameters; Energetics of lattices, and the determination of lattice enthalpy using Born Haber cycles and the Born-Mayer equation; Ionic chemistry of the Group 1 and 2 elements.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, small group tutorials and laboratory sessions.

Wider reading or practice40
Assessment tasks20
Preparation for scheduled sessions10
Total study time149

Resources & Reading list

C. E. Housecroft and A. G. Sharpe (2018). Inorganic chemistry. 


Assessment Strategy

Final exam, tutorials and laboratory marks. The latter are accumulated under the co-requisite lab module.


MethodPercentage contribution
Assessed Tutorials 10%
Final Assessment  60%
Laboratory practicals 30%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

External repeat only possible if lab module is already passed.


To study this module, you will need to also study the following module(s):

CHEM1051Introduction to Practical Chemistry I


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Students will often be expected to bring a copy of notes that are provided electronically in advance to lectures. This can involve an electronic device (laptop or tablet) or printed copies.


The textbook recommended in this core module will continue to be used in future core modules and students will benefit from owning their own copies. Some copies are also available in the library.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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