Intermediate Inorganic Chemistry--CHEM 4111


Prerequisite: CHEM 3111 with a grade of at least a C-. Repeat no more than two times.

Course Description: Theoretical and applied inorganic chemistry; relationship of structure and bonding to properties of elements and compounds; molecular orbital theory, coordination compounds and organometallics, ligand field theory, nonaqueous solvent systems, and reaction mechanisms.
Three lecture hours per week; 3 credit hours.

Textbook and other materials:

  • Inorganic Chemistry, Miessler and Tarr, 3rd Edition, 2003, ISBN: 0130354716
Optional External Materials:
  • Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry by Rayner-Canham and Overton--a sophomore-level text
  • Basic Inorganic Chemistry by Cotton, Wilkinson, and Gaus--a standard text
  • Inorganic Chemistry by Shriver and Atkins--an advanced text
  • Inorganic Chemistry: Principles of Structure and Reactivity by Huheey, Keiter, and Keiter--an advanced text with a focus on physical inorganic--well written, well referenced, but inadequate index
  • Chemistry of the Elements by Greenwood and Earnshaw--a well-written reference volume, not a traditional textbook
  • Advanced Inorganic Chemistry by Cotton, Wilkinson, Murillo, and Bochmann--an encyclopedic reference volume, not a textbook

General Information:
Inorganic Chemistry is a very broad subject, encompassing many disciplines. Inorganic courses are varied, some give a very lengthy discussion to descriptive chemistry (traditional), some provide a rigorous introduction to physical methods, while others are a mixture of these two approaches. This situation puts pressures on both instructor and students to compress the study of a considerable amount of material into a relatively short period of time.

Course Objectives:
To provide students with an in-depth conceptual and practical understanding of various topics in inorganic chemistry. To provide students with appropriate background for further study in inorganic chemistry.

Course Outline: (The order of topics will vary)

  • Chemical nomenclature
  • Atomic Structure and Atomic Orbitals
  • Periodic Trends
  • Group Theory
  • Acid/Base Chemistry
  • Oxidation and Reduction Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Structure and Bonding in Molecules
    • Lewis structures and VSEPR method
    • Molecular Orbital approach
    • Valence Bond approach
  • Inorganic energetics, kinetics, and thermodynamics
  • Structure and Bonding in Solids
  • Coordination Chemistry
  • Crystal Field Theory
  • Ligand Field Theory
  • reaction mechanisms
  • Organometallic Chemistry
  • Bioinorganic Chemistry

Grades: A comprehensive final examination will be administered in class at the assigned time. At least one test will be administered in class and graded before the last day to drop. Other tests, quizzes, and graded assignments, weighting, and grade ranges are at the discretion of the instructor, and will be detailed on a syllabus distributed on the first day of class.


  • Tardiness and unexcused absence from class are unprofessional behaviors which should be avoided, but attendance will not be graded.
  • Electronic devices such as cell phones and pagers should be turned off in the classroom.
  • Reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be made for students who present a memo from Student Disability Services.
Instructor Homepages
Dr. Xuan Zhao

On-line Resources
Know your Periodic Table! Symmetry Resources: Symmetry Resources at Otterbein College, supported by NSF-DUE #0536710

Hydrogen Atom Orbital Viewer: wave functions (orbitals) of the hydrogen atom (actually the hydrogenic atom) in 3-D

The Orbitron: a gallery of atomic orbitals and molecular orbitals on the WWW

Atomic Orbital Viewer: Use Jmol to display up to four Cl orbitals

NIST Atomic Spectroscopy Databases

NIST Atomic Spectra Database

Molecular Orbital Viewer: molecular wave functions (molecular orbitals) of the hydrogen molecular ion (H2+) in 3-D

Chemistry the Central Science by Dr. Richard Spinney: a very useful set of pages for chemistry classes

ChemWiki from UC-Davis: a very useful set of pages for inorganic chemistry

ChemTube3D: interactive 3D animations and structures

Crystallographic Resources: Crystallographic Resources at Otterbein College, supported by NSF-DUE #0942850

Cambridge Structural Database/Teaching Database
with a description of the Teaching Database and WebCSD Teaching Examples

Mineral Structure Index: a collection of solid state crystal structures with a Jmol interface

Organometallic Hypertextbook: an online collection of information about Organometallic chemistry