The University of Southampton

CHEM2015 Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry I

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

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. Students will undertake as series of three experiments, of which the titles below are examples: • Electronic structure and geometry • Dimolybdenum complex • Organometallic chemistry 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:

  • Use group theory to determine the symmetry of vibrational and bonding modes in molecules
  • Present the results of a practical investigation in a concise manner.
  • Explain the main features of electronic spectra
  • Construct bonding models for multi-atomic molecules
  • Explain the fundamentals of X-ray diffraction and process powder X-ray diffraction data collected on high symmetry (cubic) structures
  • Use the properties of transition metals and ligands to explain structures and basic properties of transition metal complexes
  • Discuss the main reaction mechanisms that operate in transition metal complexes
  • 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 compounds.


• Elementary aspects of group theory. • UV-visible spectroscopy including Russell-Saunders, Orgel diagrams and magnetism. • Revision of relevant synoptic material; d orbitals, oxidation states,dn configurations, ligand donor/acceptor properties, spectrochemical series, coordination geometries, CFSE. • Ligand field theory. • Ligand types including architecture and steric/electronic effects: carbonyl, phosphines, N2. • MO bonding in octahedral ML6 complexes - σ and π-bonding. • Chemistry of the 4d and 5d elements. Metal-metal bonding. • Brief revision of unit cells and lattices. • Basis of X-ray diffraction: Bragg’s law, powder XRD, instrumentation, applications. • Analysis of XRD data from cubic systems including lattice types and lattice parameters.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, problem-solving workshops, tutorials Workshop hours includes 4 hours of problem classes Practical class hours includes pre-lab e-learning

Practical classes and workshops29
Completion of assessment task28
Preparation for scheduled sessions49
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

F.A. Cotton, G. Wilkinson, M. Bochmann and C. Murillo (1998). Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. 

J. S. Ogden. Introduction to Molecular Symmetry. 

A.K. Brisdon. Inorganic Spectroscopic Methods. 

C.E.Housecroft, A.G.Sharpe. Inorganic Chemistry. 


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 and unexcused absences will result in failure of the module.


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


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (2 hours) 75%
Practical write-ups 25%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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