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NES3407 : Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (Distance Learning)

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Andrew Houlton
  • Lecturer: Dr Keith Izod, Dr Simon Doherty, Dr James Dawson
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


To introduce the fundamental principles and reactions of organometallic chemistry; to introduce concepts of homogeneous catalysis; to demonstrate the diverse chemistry of the s- and p-elements; to introduce inorganic aspects of biological systems and metals in biomedicine; to introduce the fundamentals, diversity and applications of chemistry in the solid state

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will be presented in four courses – Organometallic Chemistry; Bio-inorganic Chemistry; Contemporary Main Group Chemistry; Solid-state Chemistry

Organometallic Chemistry

*Topics selected from the following

*Background and introduction

*The 18-Electron rule

*Important ligand types; carbonyl (bonding and binary carbonyls)

*Pi-ligands, hydrides, phosphines

*The synthesis of organometallic compounds

*Organometallic reaction mechanisms 1. Reaction at the metal: ligand substitution, oxidative addition and

reductive elimination

*Organometallic reaction mechanisms 2: Reactions involving the ligand: migratory insertion, reductive

elimination and nucleophilic additions and abstractions

*Transition metal carbene complexes: synthesis, structure and reactivity

*Homogeneous catalysis: an introduction

Bioinorganic Chemistry

*An introduction to bioinorganic chemistry; the essential metals, metal ion overload-deficiency and treatments.

*An introduction to metalloproteins. Protein structure, metal ion binding groups, protein function and role of metal ions.

*Further topics selected from the following

*Myoglobin– protein structure and function, haem group, oxidation and spin states of the metal centre before and after oxygen coordination

*Haemoglobin – protein structure and function, comparison with Mb,

*Metallo-enzymes – details of the structure and function of Zn and Fe-containing systems

*Metal ion binding in DNA. Discovery of metal-containing anti-tumour drugs. mode of action, side effects. Metal-based drugs

Comparative Main Group Chemistry

Topics selected from the following:

*General principles. Complexes of the s-elements: macrocycles and the macrocyclic effect, alkalides and electrides

*Organometallics of the electropositive metals: an introduction to electron-deficient compounds

*More electron-deficient compounds: boranes and carboranes, Zintl ions

*Low oxidation states of the p-block elements (groups 13 and 14)

*E=E bonds (groups 14 and 15); synthesis and reactions. Phosphorus (V) ylides and related compounds

*E=E’ bonds – stability, synthesis and reactions

Sold-state Chemistry

Topics selected from the following: 

 *Introduction to solid-state chemistry – background, applications, importance and diversity of materials and structures types of solid state, i.e., 0D to 3D, including crystals and molecular solids. 

*Structures of solids – crystal structure and chemistry, packing, unit cells and important structures. 

*Bonding and electronic structure in solids – types of bonding in solids, band theory, metals/semiconductors/insulators.   

*Electrical properties – metallic conductivity, superconductivity + semiconductors. 

*Ionic diffusion and conductivity – how ions move in solids, models and types of diffusion, role of ionic conductivity.   

*Defects, doping and non-stoichiometry in crystals – points defects and why they form, extended defects, role of doping and nonstoichiometry.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Placement/Study AbroadEmployer-based learning321:0032:00Lecture - Recorded by ReCap and displayed on Canvas (DL)
Placement/Study AbroadEmployer-based learning13:003:00Assessment - completion of end of semester 2 examination (DL)
Placement/Study AbroadEmployer-based learning135:0035:00Assessment - preparation and completion revision for assessment (DL)
Placement/Study AbroadEmployer-based learning1130:00130:00Independent Study - Review ReCap lectures, background reading and practice past exam questions (DL)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials are delivered electronically and are used to impart knowledge/understanding. Student learning is supported by the provision of worksheets.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1802A100Examination
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
Advanced Inorganic Chemistry2N/A
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Digital Examination1AAssessment of part module examination
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A formative exam will assess the level of knowledge and understanding from topics studied in semester 1. This will allow the module team to review and feedback on any topic which may have been problematic.

The summative written examination will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of the content of the module. The examination will present students with questions from a selection of topics learnt throughout semester 1 and 2 module content.

Reading Lists