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The University of Southampton

CHEM2015 Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry I

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

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

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

Resources & Reading list

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

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

A.K. Brisdon. Inorganic Spectroscopic Methods. 

J. S. Ogden. Introduction to Molecular Symmetry. 


Assessment Strategy

All absences from practical sessions must be validated and unexcused absences will result in failure of the module. Repeat year externally: allowed if practical attendance criteria has been met. 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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