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Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences

Content class: Inorganic chemistry I

Class: CHEMISTRY (D.M. 270/04) (Offer 2017)
  • CFU: 9
  • SSD: CHIM/03


At the end of the course the student will possess adequate knowledge of inorganic systems, both as molecules and as extended solids, with focus on structure-properties relationship. The student will have basic knowledge of elements and their inorganic compounds.


Atomic structure, electronic configuration of atoms, molecular structure and bonding, intermolecular interactions. Basic thermodynamic and kinetic. Acids and basis. Redox reactions.

Course Syllabus

Structure and periodicity. Polymorphism of solids. Solid solutions, isomorphism. Close packing theory. Structure of simple solids: metals, covalent infinite arrays, molecular solids, ionic structures. Lattice energy. The rationalization of structures: i) ionic radii, ii) radius ratio rule, iii) structure maps. Crystal field theory. Electronic spectra of transition metal ions and complexes. Magnetic properties of transition metal compounds. Curie law. Simple compounds: structure and properties of oxides and halides. Chemistry of non-metals: metals of Group 1 and 2, B, Al, C,Si, N, P, O, S, halogens, noble gas. General properties of transition and non-transition metals. Complex formation. Characterization of compounds: elemental analysis, Vis and IR spectrophotometry, thermal analysis, magnetic measurements. Laboratory experiments: preparation and characterization of: a solid solution (Al2O3-Cr2O3), a spinel (CoAl2O4), non-transition metal compounds (Ca(galactarate)xH2O, tris(acetilacetonate)Metal(III), Metal(III) = Al, Co(III), Cr(III), Fe(III).Thermal decomposition of CaCO3 and an egg shell. Thermal reduction of PbO2.

Reference texts

P-Atkins, T.Overton, J.Rourke, M.Weller, F.Armstrong, Chimica Inorganica Zanichelli, 2012. F.A-Cotton, G.Wilkinson, Chimica Inorganica, 3° ed. CEA, 1984 N.N. Greenwood and A. Earnshaw in Chemistry of the elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth, UK, 1997 or previous editions. A.K.Brisdon, Inorganic Spectroscopic Methods, Oxford University Press, 2001. On-line materials will be available from the teacher for registered students

Teaching methods

Lectures and laboratory

Verification of learning

The assessment will be obtained by oral examination (70%), laboratory activity (10%) and corresponding reports (20%). The oral is normally formed by 4 questions: one question on subject as for example: close packing theory, structure of simple solids, crystal systems, oxides, halides e corresponding structures, crystal field theory, magnetism, etc.; one question on the chemistry of main group elements, one question on first transition metals and their compounds. To answer it may be necessary to write and balance reactions. The last question pertains the laboratory activity, including stoichiometric calculations.

Expected results

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING The aim of the course is the understanding of the factors controlling the aggregation state of the matter, the structural organization of simple inorganic solids, the coordination geometry of first transition metal compounds and the elements reactivity, as well as the comprehension of the structure-property relation. A second objective is the knowledge of the basic theories on solid state and coordination compounds and of the chemistry of the most common inorganic simple and coordination compounds. APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING Students should acquire the skills to provide explanations for the structural features and properties of elements and inorganic compounds, to prepare compounds by reaction in solution or by solid state processes, to synthesize compounds of non-transition and transition metals and to perform measurements by means of experimental techniques. Students are able to work in a safe way and to perform a correct waste disposal. MAKING JUDGEMENTS Students should acquire the ability to compare and discuss experimental results on inorganic compounds and elements and to propose their geometry and properties. Students should be able to compare data and references. COMMUNICATION SKILLS Students should possess communication skills in order to present and properly discuss their results, both in written and oral form, also by means of informatics tools, and to speak about basic inorganic chemistry. Students should be able to collaborate with other people and to work in different professional environments. LEARNING SKILLS Students should acquire the skill for identifying the correct sources for improving their knowledge in the field of inorganic and coordination chemistry.