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Bonding and Structure (CH2102)


To provide an introduction to the periodic table and a basic understanding of molecular bonding and structure in inorganic compounds in terms of elementary molecular orbital theory and basic coordination chemistry.

General description

Simple models of bonding in small molecules and complexes are introduced and discussed in terms of the influence of bonding on structure. The background to the periodic table, its structure, and its use in the analysis of trends in elemental properties will be reviewed.

Descriptions of covalent bonding are considered, principally focussing on molecular orbital theory of H2, other diatomics and simple organic molecules. The effect of symmetry on bonding is introduced through a discussion of molecular symmetry elements. Coordination-geometries and their symmetry elements will also be covered. Lewis/Werner co-ordination chemistry, Lewis-Pearson HSAB classes of ligands will also be introduced.

Syllabus content

Geometry and bonding :

The basis of VSEPR.

Introduction to the periodic table: trends in elemental properties (electronegativity, atomic radii etc.) across s, p, d and f-blocks.

  • Brief introduction to coordination numbers and geometries in inorganic complexes.
  • Review of atomic electronic structure: quantum numbers, energy levels in hydrogenic and multi-electron atoms, radial distribution function, Pauli exclusion principle and Hund’s rules.
  • Covalent bonding in H2 - descriptive MO treatment.
  • Covalent bonding in 1st row diatomics - descriptive MO treatment.

Introduction to coordination chemistry :

Lewis/Werner structures. HSAB theory. Ligand classes. Synthesis of coordination compounds

Practical work :

Laboratory sessions will involve the short synthesis and analysis of compounds (main group or transition metal) and will highlight basic principles of chemistry (redox chemistry, titrations and gravimetric analysis, metathesis and thermodynamics).