Introduction to Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Course Description

The basic concepts of inorganic chemistry, including the origins of elemental properties, simple theories of bonding, intermolecular forces, main group and transition metal chemistry, coordination chemistry. Inorganic ions in biochemistry, including ion transport and storage, oxygen carriers and hydrolases, redox proteins.


CHEM 1000


CHEM 3506


Tuesday 1:05 – 2:25 pm, SC 103 (sync. on Brightspace)
Thursday 1:05 – 2:25 pm, on SC 103 (sync. on Brightspace)

The lectures will be offered synchronously (i.e., I will give them live, and you can attend and ask questions!) and they will also be recorded so that anybody who cannot attend the live lecture can still watch them. I will be using Brightspace, and I will incorporate some self-testing and review questions to help break up the lecture time.


Friday 11:35 am – 12:25 pm, on Brightspace

The tutorial will be offered synchronously as well as recorded, like the lectures. The TA (Erica) will take up the previous week’s assignment in the tutorial, as well as answer any questions that you have about it. Please email your questions in advance so she can offer a considered (and coherent) answer.


In-Term: Tuesday, March 1, 1.5 hours, on Brightspace

Final: TBA

Grading Scheme

The course is split up as follows:

  • Assignments 20%
  • In-term exam 30%
  • Final exam 50%


Gary L. Miessler, Paul J. Fischer, Donald A. Tarr, Inorganic Chemistry, 5th edition, Pearson, ISBN: 978-0321812001

COVID Accommodations

You may have already noticed the pandemic which is affecting our school year.

If you have an issue or need accommodation, please ask. I won’t need a reason or documentation. I’d prefer to know ahead of time (with respect to deadlines and exams), but this isn’t always reasonable or possible.

Please just talk to me about what is going on, and together we will find a solution.


  1. Atomic Properties
    •  atomic orbitals
    •  The periodic table, electronic configurations
    •  Elemental properties of electron affinity, ionization energy, atomic radius
    •  Inert pair effect
    • Hard and soft atoms and polarizability
    • Calculations of effective nuclear charge
  2. Molecular Properties
    •  ionic and covalent bonding
    •  electronegativity, resonance structures, and intermolecular forces
    •  calculations of formal charge
    •  intermolecular forces in biological macromolecules (DNA, protein).
  3. Main Group Elements and Compounds
    •  chemistry of selected elements, particularly those elements essential to life and toxic to life
    •  comparisons between elements based on relationships of the periodic table
  4. Transition Metals and Compounds
    •  transition metals, ligands, nature of the metal-ligand bond
    •  crystal field theory
    •  spectroscopy and magnetism
    •  nomenclature
    •  coordination numbers and structures\
  5. Bioinorganic Chemistry
    • transport and storage of metal ions: ionophores and siderophores, transferrin and ferritin, oxygen carriers and hydrolases: hemoglobin, myoglobin, hemocyanin, and hemerythrin; carboxypeptidase and alkaline and purple acid phosphatases
    • redox chemistry of electron transfer proteins and oxidoreductase proteins: hemes, copper proteins, flavins, cobalamins, cytochrome c oxidase, photosynthesis, nitrogenase, cytochrome P450,
    • metals in medicine, therapeutic compounds, and diagnostic compounds.

Survivors of Sexual Violence

As a community, Carleton University is committed to maintaining a positive learning, working and living environment where sexual violence will not be tolerated and is survivors are supported through academic accommodations as per Carleton’s Sexual Violence Policy. For more information about the services available at the university and to obtain information about sexual violence and/or support, visit:

Requests for Academic Accommodation

You may need special arrangements to meet your academic obligations during the term. Please contact your instructor with any requests for academic accommodation (pregnancy, religion, disability, etc.) during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist.

For an accommodation request, the processes can be found here:

Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
If you have a documented disability requiring academic accommodations in this course, please contact the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC) at 613-520-6608 or for a formal evaluation or contact your PMC coordinator to send your instructor your Letter of Accommodation at the beginning of the term. You must also contact the PMC no later than two weeks before the first in-class scheduled test or exam requiring accommodation (if applicable). After requesting an accommodation from PMC, meet with your instructor as soon as possible to ensure accommodation arrangements are made.

Accommodation for Student Activities
Carleton University recognizes the substantial benefits, both to the individual student and for the university, that result from a student participating in activities beyond the classroom experience. Reasonable accommodation must be provided to students who compete or perform at the national or international level. Please contact your instructor with any requests for academic accommodation during the first two weeks of class, or as soon as possible after the need for accommodation is known to exist.

For more information on academic accommodation, please contact the departmental administrator or visit:


Obviously, I reserve the right to make adjustments or changes throughout the semester. Remember that you are responsible to learn about these changes, which will be posted on this website.