Module code: CHE3044

Module provider


Module Leader

AMODIO C Dr (Chemistry)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 116

Lecture Hours: 32

Tutorial Hours: 4

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 30%
Examination EXAM 1.5 HOURS 70%

Alternative Assessment

None available. As above

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This module is designed to develop an understanding of specific areas of inorganic chemistry, some of which not yet investigated. Thus the lanthanoids and actinoids are discussed, together with aspects of symmetry, organometallic chemistry (with particular reference to structure, bonding and reactivity), homogeneous catalysis and an introduction to inorganic electronics.

Module aims

To consider simple applications of group theory and character tables to simple bonding and spectroscopy

To consider the chemistry of the lanthanide and actinide elements

To introduce students to advanced aspects of transition metal organometallic chemistry

To enable an understanding and appreciation of the fundamental structures, reactivity patterns and spectroscopy associated with organometallic chemistry

To illustrate the reactivity of selected organometallic complexes and show how these may be used as a tool for the synthesis of complex molecules

To consider the inorganic chemistry, structure and functions of zeolites, and to explore the similarities and differences to metal-organic frameworks

To understand the nature of p-n junctions and how their electronic properties can be modified through introduction of impurities.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Apply group theory and character tables to rationalize simple bonding descriptions and vibrational spectra;
Appreciate the properties of lanthanoid and actinoid elements, with particular reference to differences with d block chemistry, and the use of specific actinoids in nuclear power generation and consequent implications
Consider and explain theories of metal-to-ligand bonding in transition metal organometallic compounds;
Review the nature and role of organometallic compounds in the synthesis of important organic compounds
Discuss how the structures of selected solid state materials relate to function as heterogeneous catalysts, semiconductors and in gas absorption/separation, together with an understanding of the limitations of these materials.

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

  Indicative content includes:

Hapticity. The 18-electron rule and variants. Relationship to the MO approach. Occurrence and structures of transition metal binary carbonyl compounds. Modes of coordination of the carbonyl ligand. Phosphine complexes, cone angle Evidence for p back bonding.

Complexes of monodentate alkenes and alkynes: synthesis, structure and bonding. Allyl and butadiene complexes: synthesis, structure and bonding. Synthesis and reactions of transition metal carbene complexes. Metathesis reactions.

Complexes of cyclo-pentadienyl, benzene and related ligands; synthesis, structure and bonding.

Metal complexes as homogeneous catalysts; key reactions. Choice of catalyst. Industrial applications: Discussion of a selection of processes taken from: Alkene hydrogenation, oxidation, hydroformylation; Tennessee-Eastman acetic anhydride process; The Fischer-Tropsch and the Monsanto processes.

The chemistry of the lanthanoid elements. The lanthanide contraction. Occurrence and extractions. Prevalence of the +3 oxidation state in compounds, and exceptions to that. Comparisons and contrasts to transition metals in optical and magnetic properties of compounds, and in complex formation. The chemistry of the actinoids. Nuclear (in)stability. Oxidation states in oxides and in aqueous chemistry. Nuclear power.

Character tables; reducible representations. Application of symmetry group theory to bonding and to vibrational spectroscopy and molecular orbital theory.

Zeolites – overview of general structural details and chemistry of zeolites. Uses in catalysis, gas storage and separation. MOFs – the structure of metal organic frameworks and use in gas storage. Similarities and differences between MOFs and Zeolites. Inorganic electronics – The p-n junction, what is it and how it is used in electronic devices. Using doping to adjust the electronic behaviour.


Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Provide students with a clear understanding of the interlinking between inorganic and organic chemistry in the area of organometallic chemistry and catalysis, and encourage them to problem solve across the module.  It is also designed to enable students to discuss public perception and media commentary on certain elemental properties, particularly concerned with nuclear reactivity and power


The learning and teaching methods include:

32 lectures, 4 tutorials

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the defined learning outcomes and to encourage students to think critically.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

1.5 hour examination 70% (addresses LOs 1-4)
Coursework (30%), consisting of an appropriate combination of short answer questions, problems, and preparation of review of discussion papers or reports.


Formative assessment

Tutorial questions/discussion topics; integrated discussion and questions in lectures. Formative assessment is provided throughout the module in the form of in-class exercises, examples and worked problems as appropriate. Formative assessment may also be provided through the provision of ‘checklists’ at the end of each section of the module that detail the areas covered in that part of the course.



Provided on the coursework submitted, and general verbal feedback in tutorials and lectures. 

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.