Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 4436) and Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (CHEM 4435)

Fall Semester 2014


Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 4436)


Required Textbook: Shriver & Atkins, "INORGANIC CHEMISTRY", sixth, fifth or fourth edition, W. H. Freeman & Co., New York, 2013 (6th edition), 2010 (5th edition) or 2006 (4th edition).

Publisher's Online Resources:

Instructor: Victor Nemykin

Office: 329 Chem

Phone: (218) 726-6729


Class times: M, W, F 12:00 12:50 pm, Chem. 155

Office Hours: anytime by e-mail appointment


Course: This is a one-semester junior/senior level course in Inorganic Chemistry and has as a prerequisite Physical Chemistry and Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 3432). The major topics to be covered include atomic theory (including many-electron atoms), chemical bonding and consequences thereof, classical coordination chemistry, instrumental methods in inorganic chemistry, symmetry, group theory, and organometallic chemistry. Although it is difficult to predict exactly how far we will get, this course comprises remaining chapters in the book (tentatively: chapters 1, 2, 6, 7, 19, 20, and 22), which were not covered in Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM 3432) class.


Lecture format: Lecture will be comprised of chalkboard presentations supplemented with PowerPoint slides. The instructor will post PowerPoint slides at his discretion. If you must miss a lecture, please get notes from a peer or ask the instructor for the corresponding sections in the text book to read.


Tentative Exam Schedule:

Exam 1: Wednesday, September 24

Exam 2: Friday, October 17

Exam 3: Monday, November 24

Final Exam: 2:00-3:55 pm, Friday, December 19


In order to receive a grade for the class you must complete all the required work. Class attendance is a reasonably good indicator of success.


Grading: The course grade will be based on the percentage earned out of four exams. No exam make-ups are allowed, except with a signed note from the proper authority. The instructor reserves the right to administer quizzes or extra assignments at any time.

Exams 1 - 2

3 x 100 points


Final Exam

200 points





Access for Students with Disabilities: It is the policy and practice of UMD to create inclusive learning environments for all students, including students with disabilities. If there are aspects of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or your ability to meet course requirements, please notify the instructor as soon as possible. You are also encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Resources to discuss and arrange reasonable accommodations. Please call 218-726-6130 or visit the DR website at for more information.




Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (Chem 4435)


Required Textbook: Szafran, Pike, and Singh, "Microscale Inorganic Chemistry", John Wiley & Sons.

Required Laboratory Notebook: Bound laboratory notebook for recording notes, observations, and measurements.

Instructor: Victor Nemykin

Office: 329 Chem

Phone: (218) 726-6729


Lab times: Section 001 Tu 2:00 - 4:50 pm; Section 002 Th 9:00 - 11:50 am, Chem 347.

Office Hours: anytime by e-mail appointment



Course: This is the laboratory course that accompanies CHEM 4436 lecture class and involves the preparation and study of a number of types of inorganic and organometallic compounds. Experiments will be described in the required text and in additional handouts if necessary.



Lab Reports (10 reports, 20 points each) 200

Laboratory Performance and Notebook 40

Total 240


Important Points:
1. Safety first! You must wear safety goggles in the laboratory. Please wear proper attire, including complete coverage of legs and feet. Please read all safety instructions before beginning each experiment. Please be mindful of those working around you.
2. The first few pages of your notebook should be used for a Table of Contents.
3. Disposable items and damage or loss of equipment are handled through your U Card. Consequently, you must keep a positive balance in your U Card account. There is currently a maximum of $30 per incident.
4. Read the pages relating to an experiment before you come to the laboratory. This includes the sections titled "Prior Reading and Techniques".
5. Laboratory Reports are due one week after the completion of the experiment(s). You will be penalized two points for each week they are late.
6. All reports are due the Monday after the 15th week. Reports will not be accepted after this date. Reports must be typed.


Tentative Lab Schedule and Reports:

Week and Experiment

Reports due in Lab





NMR of acetylacetone, Synthesis of Cr(acac)3, Exp. 22A



Synthesis of Mn(acac)3, Exp. 22B



Magnetic susceptibilites of acac complexes

Metal acetylacetonate complexes


Synthesis of trans-[Co(en)2 Cl2]Cl, Exp. 26A

Magnetic susceptibilities


Synthesis of [Cr(en)3]C13, Exp. 29

Synthesis of cis- and trans- isomers


Determination of Crystal Field Splitting Parameter for d3 systems, Exp. 29

Synthesis of [Cr(en)3]Cl3


High temperature synthesis of a rare earth phosphor, luminescence spectra, Handout

Crystal Field splitting parameters


Synthesis of allylpalladium chloride, Exp. 39

High temperature synthesis


NMR investigation of allylpalladium chloride, Exp. 39



Preparation and characterization of DMSO complexes, FTIR, Exp. 20

Synthesis and NMR of allylpalladium chloride


MCD spectrum of zinc phthalocyanine, Handout

Linkage isomerism


X-ray crystallography, determining molecular structures, Handout and Chepter 5D, p. 67-73




X-ray crystallography




Access for Students with Disabilities: It is the policy and practice of UMD to create inclusive learning environments for all students, including students with disabilities. If there are aspects of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or your ability to meet course requirements, please notify the instructor as soon as possible. You are also encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Resources to discuss and arrange reasonable accommodations. Please call 218-726-6130 or visit the DR website at for more information.



Research experience is as close to a professional problem-solving activity as anything in the curriculum. It provides exposure to research methodology and an opportunity to work closely with a faculty advisor. It usually requires the use of advanced concepts, a variety of experimental techniques, and state-of-the-art instrumentation. Ideally, undergraduate research should focus on a well-defined project that stands a reasonable chance of completion in the time available. A literature survey alone is not a satisfactory research project. Neither is repetition of established procedures.

Research is genuine exploration of the unknown that leads to new knowledge which often warrants publication. But whether or not the results of a research project are publishable, the project should be communicated in the form of a research report written by the student. It is important to realize that science depends on precise transmission of facts and ideas. Preparation of a comprehensive written research report is an essential part of a valid research experience, and the student should be aware of this requirement at the outset of the project. Interim reports may also be required, usually at the termination of the quarter or semester. Sufficient time should be allowed for satisfactory completion of reports, taking into account that initial drafts should be critiqued by the faculty advisor and corrected by the student at each stage.

Guidelines on how to prepare a professional-style research report are not routinely available. For this reason, the following information on report writing and format is provided to be helpful to undergraduate researchers and to faculty advisors.

Organization of the Research Report:
Most scientific research reports, irrespective of the field, parallel the method of scientific reasoning. That is: the problem is defined, a hypothesis is created, experiments are devised to test the hypothesis, experiments are conducted, and conclusions are drawn. This framework is consistent with the following organization of a research report:




Experimental Details or Theoretical Analysis

Results Discussion

Conclusions and Summary References

Title and Title Page:
The title should reflect the content and emphasis of the project described in the report. It should be as short as possible and include essential key words.

The author's name (e.g., Mary B. Chung) should follow the title on a separate line, followed by the author's affiliation (e.g., Department of Chemistry, Central State College, Central, AR 76123), the date, and possibly the origin of the report (e.g., In partial fulfillment of a Senior Thesis Project under the supervision of Professor Danielle F. Green, June, 1997).

All of the above could appear on a single cover page. Acknowledgments and a table of contents can be added as preface pages if desired.

The abstract should, in the briefest terms possible, describe the topic, the scope, the principal findings, and the conclusions. It should be written last to reflect accurately the content of the report. The length of abstracts vary but seldom exceed 200 words.

A primary objective of an abstract is to communicate to the reader the essence of the paper. The reader will then be the judge of whether to read the full report or not. Were the report to appear in the primary literature, the abstract would serve as a key source of indexing terms and key words to be used in information retrieval. Author abstracts are often published verbatim in Chemical Abstracts.

"A good introduction is a clear statement of the problem or project and why you are studying it." (The ACS Style Guide. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1986.)

The nature of the problem and why it is of interest should be conveyed in the opening paragraphs. This section should describe clearly but briefly the background information on the problem, what has been done before (with proper literature citations), and the objectives of the current project. A clear relationship between the current project and the scope and limitations of earlier work should be made so that the reasons for the project and the approach used will be understood.

Experimental Details or Theoretical Analysis:
This section should describe what was actually done. It is a succinct exposition of the laboratory notebook, describing procedures, techniques, instrumentation, special precautions, and so on. It should be sufficiently detailed that other experienced researchers would be able to repeat the work and obtain comparable results.

In theoretical reports, this section would include sufficient theoretical or mathematical analysis to enable derivations and numerical results to be checked. Computer programs from the public domain should be cited. New computer programs should be described in outline form.

If the experimental section is lengthy and detailed, as in synthetic work, it can be placed at the end of the report or as an appendix so that it does not interrupt the conceptual flow of the report. Its placement will depend on the nature of the project and the discretion of the writer.

In this section, relevant data, observations, and findings are summarized. Tabulation of data, equations, charts, and figures can be used effectively to present results clearly and concisely. Schemes to show reaction sequences may be used here or elsewhere in the report.

The crux of the report is the analysis and interpretation of the results. What do the results mean? How do they relate to the objectives of the project? To what extent have they resolved the problem? Because the "Results" and "Discussion" sections are interrelated, they can often be combined as one section.

Conclusions and Summary:
A separate section outlining the main conclusions of the project is appropriate if conclusions have not already been stated in the "Discussion" section. Directions for future work are also suitably expressed here.

A lengthy report, or one in which the findings are complex, usually benefits from a paragraph summarizing the main features of the report - the objectives, the findings, and the conclusions.

The last paragraph of text in manuscripts prepared for publication is customarily dedicated to acknowledgments. However, there is no rule about this, and research reports or senior theses frequently place acknowledgments following the title page.

Literature references should be collated at the end of the report and cited in one of the formats described in The ACS Style Guide or standard journals. Do not mix formats. All references should be checked against the original literature.

Preparing the Manuscript:
The personal computer and word processing have made manuscript preparation and revision a great deal easier than it used to be. Students should have the opportunity to use a word processor and have access to graphics software which allows numerical data to be graphed, chemical structures to be drawn, and mathematical equations to be represented. These are essential tools of the technical writer. All manuscripts should routinely be checked for spelling (spell check programs are helpful), and all manuscripts should be carefully proofread before being submitted. Preliminary drafts should be edited by the faculty advisor before the report is presented in final form.

Two Useful Texts:
Writing the Laboratory Notebook, Kanare, Howard M., American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1985.
This book describes among other things the reasons for note keeping, organizing and writing the notebook with examples, and provides photographs from laboratory notebooks of famous scientists.

The ACS Style Guide, Dodd, J. S., Ed; American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1997.
This volume is an invaluable writer's handbook in the field of chemistry. It contains a wealth of data on preparing any type of scientific report and is useful for both students and professional chemists. Every research laboratory should have a copy, and it should be as accessible as the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. It gives pointers on the organization of a scientific paper, correct grammar and style, and accepted formats in citing chemical names, chemical symbols, units, and references.

There are useful suggestions on constructing tables, preparing illustrations, using different type faces and type sizes, and giving oral presentations. In addition, there is a brief overview of the chemical literature, the way in which it is organized and how information is disseminated and retrieved. A list of other excellent guides to technical writing is also provided. See also The Basics or Technical Communicating. Cain, B.
E.; ACS Professional Reference Book American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1988.