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CH20147: Inorganic synthesis, structure and reactivity

[Page last updated: 21 April 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/3
Owning Department/School: Department of Chemistry
Credits: 12 [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 240
Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • S2 Exam (EX 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
CH20147 Supplementary Assessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: In taking this module you cannot take CH20148
Learning Outcomes: After studying this unit, students should be able to:
* Describe bonding models that can be applied to a consideration of the properties of transition metal compounds.
* Account for the solution chemistry of representative elements as a guide to the reactivity of the transition metals.
* Describe the properties and factors effecting stability and reactivity of heavy p-block containing compounds.
* Understand the fundamental chemistry of metal compounds containing metal-carbon σ- and π-bonds.
* Describe the principles underlining NMR and powder diffraction techniques.
* Interpret and make calculations based on simple X-ray diffraction patterns.
* Interpret and predict NMR spectra for a range of nuclei other than 1H, 13C.
* Interpret and predict ESR spectra.

Aims: To provide an introduction to the chemistry of compounds of the transition metal elements, along with selected aspects of main group chemistry with particular reference to the heavier p-block elements. To introduce students to fundamental organometallic chemistry. To provide a basic knowledge of advanced methods for structure determination.

Skills: Numeracy (F, A), Problem solving (T, F, A), Oral communication (F).

Content: General properties of transition metal compounds. Crystal field theory and ligand field theory. Descriptive chemistry of first row transition metal elements. Kinetics and mechanisms of substitution and redox reactions. Organometallics - nomenclature, electron counting. Metal carbon σ and π bonding. The nature and properties of selected p-block element containing compounds (Inter halogen complexes, cationic/anionic halogen and chalcogen systems). Chemistry of the noble gases. The role of d-orbitals in main group element bonding (3-centre 4-electron bonding vs. d-orbital participation). p-block ring systems (BN, SN, SeN and PN). Classification of organometallics, general aspects of stability structure and bonding The history, synthesis, structure, bonding and reactivity of main group organometallics (e.g. organolithiums, organomagnesiums and organoaluminiums). The application of selected of main group organometallic compounds. General principles of NMR - magnetic properties of nuclei, sensitivity and abundance. Spectra of I = 1/2 nuclei. Chemical shifts and coupling constants. Problems with I>1/2 nuclei. Magnetic properties of the electron and the origin and interpretation of ESR spectra. Overview of X-ray generation and use of filters. Crystal classes, lattices and unit cells. Bragg's Law. Uses of powder diffraction.

Programme availability:

CH20147 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AFB01 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry (Year 2)
  • USCH-AAB02 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USCH-AFB07 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery (Year 2)
  • USCH-AAB08 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USCH-AKB08 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Industrial Placement (Year 2)
  • USCH-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry with Industrial Placement (Year 2)
  • USCH-AFM02 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry (Year 2)
  • USCH-AAM03 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USCH-AFM05 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery (Year 2)
  • USCH-AAM06 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Study year abroad (Year 2)
  • USCH-AKM03 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Industrial Placement (Year 2)
  • USCH-AKM02 : MChem(Hons) Chemistry with Industrial Placement (Year 2)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.