The University of Southampton

CHEM6107 Advanced Main Group Chemistry

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • appreciate the trends in chemical and physical behaviour of main group metal compounds and how they may be controlled (tuned) by particular types of ligand.
  • combine spectroscopic, structural and other experimental data to determine the identities of p-block coordination compounds and to rationalise their properties.
  • qualitatively rationalise the metal-ligand bonding in p-block complexes.
  • relate the properties of the complexes (reagents) to the choice of materials deposition technique for a particular application.
  • appreciate some of the important and emerging applications of main group complexes and materials and the key features necessary for these (semiconductor materials and medical imaging agents).


The syllabus, which is described in outline below, is aligned with the following QAA benchmark statements for chemistry at FHEQ Level 7 (Masters). • to extend students' comprehension of key chemical concepts and so provide them with an in-depth understanding of specialised areas of chemistry; • to develop in students the ability to adapt and apply methodology to the solution of unfamiliar types of problems; • to instill a critical awareness of advances at the forefront of the chemical science discipline; • to prepare students effectively for professional employment or doctoral studies in the chemical sciences; • the ability to adapt and apply methodology to the solution of unfamiliar problems; • knowledge base extends to a systematic understanding and critical awareness of topics which are informed by the forefront of the discipline; • problems of an unfamiliar nature are tackled with appropriate methodology and taking into account the possible absence of complete data. This research-led module will address aspects of advanced p-block coordination, materials and organometallic chemistry, with a focus on some important applications derived from compounds in this part of the periodic table – primarily in electronic materials and radiopharmaceuticals: A review of trends in the structures of the binary halides; relevant characterisation methods for p-block complexes (e.g. multinuclear NMR spectroscopy, single crystal X-ray diffraction). • The * bonding model for p-block compounds – rationalising structures and Lewis acid behaviour in p-block complexes. • Survey of Group 13-15 halide complexes with Group 15 & 16 donor ligands – preparations, structures, trends & properties/applications • The motivation for studying main group coordination complexes – an overview of the range of applications of main group complexes, and materials derived from them - Frustrated Lewis pairs → small molecule activation - Synthetic uses of main group complexes → oxidising/reducing agents - Precursors for materials deposition e.g. CVD, quantum dots • The deposition of thin films of materials, with a strong focus on Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) - Uses of thin films (TCO, diamond, other semiconductors etc.) - CVD vs other deposition techniques (ALD, sol-gel, electrodeposition) - Vaporisation techniques (AA, LP, AP, SCF etc.) - Principles of precursor design - Post-deposition characterisation techniques • An overview of the development of radio-labelled p-block complexes for applications in PET and SPECT imaging.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods: Lectures, directed reading, Bb online support. Learning methods: Independent study, student motivated peer group study, student driven tutor support

Practical classes and workshops4
Follow-up work29
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Total study time75

Resources & Reading list

W. Levason, G. Reid, W. Zhang (2011). The Chemistry of the p-Block Elements with Thioether, Selenoether and Telluroether. Dalton Trans.. ,40 , pp. 8491-8506.

A. C. Jones and M. L. Hitchman (2009). Chemical vapour deposition: precursors, processes and applications. 

P. O’Brien and N. L. Picket (2004). Comprehensive Coordination Chemistry II. Comprehensive Coordination Chemistry II. ,9 .

Ligands, W. Levason and G. Reid, J. (2001). The Chemistry of the p-Block Elements with Thioether, Selenoether and Telluroether. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans.. , pp. 2953-2960.

C. E. Housecroft and A. G. Sharpe (2008). Inorganic Chemistry. 

Eds. J. A. McCleverty and T. J. Meyer (2004). Comprehensive Coordination Chemistry II. Comprehensive Coordination Chemistry II. ,3 .

N. C. Norman (1997). Periodicity and the p-Block Elements. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1 hours) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Examination  (1 hours) 100%

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: CHEM3037 or CHEM6094

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