Inorganic Chemistry I

Course Description

Symmetry, identification of Raman and infrared active vibrations, symmetry-adapted molecular orbital theory of polyatomic molecules, electron-deficient bonding, bonding in coordination complexes, solid-state bonding, ionic lattices. Laboratory will introduce the student to a range of synthetic techniques and physical methods of characterization.


CHEM 2501


CHEM 3507 (3503)


Tuesday and Thursday
4:05 pm – 5:25 pm
online delivery

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 available asynchronously (i.e., 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.


1:35 pm – 2:25 pm
online delivery

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


The lab is run by Daniel Sun, and he has an extensive website about it on Brightspace.


November 2, 1.5 hours

to be determined

Grading Scheme

CHEM 3503: the lab is 30% of your mark.

The other 70% is split up as follows:

  • Assignments 14%
  • In-term exam 21%
  • Final exam 35%

For CHEM 3507, there is no lab.

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 an 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. Inorganic Chemistry
    • Coordination and nomenclature
    • Isomers of complex geometries
    • Electron counting and the 18 and 16 electron rules
    • Thermodynamics of complex formation: formation constants, enthalpy, and entropy
    • Steric effects and ligand basicity (pKa)
    • Hard-Soft Acid-Base Theory
    • The chelate effect
  2. Coordination Chemistry
    • Crystal field theory and crystal field stabilization energy
    • Strong field and weak field ligands; low spin and high spin electron configurations
  3. Symmetry and Group Theory
    • Symmetry elements
    • symmetry point groups of molecules
    • Character tables, symmetry labels
    • Chemical applications: chirality, IR and Raman spectroscopy
  4. Molecular Orbitals
    • Fragment molecular orbital theory
    • Molecular Orbital (MO) theory and non-directed symmetry adapted LCAOs
    • application to organic and main group compounds
    • Symmetry labelled molecular orbital schemes
    • Molecular orbital theory of transition metal complexes, symmetry labelled MO schemes, effect of a ligand’s pi-acceptor or pi-donor properties on d-orbital splitting
    • Paramagnetism and magnetic moment, and the determination of the number of unpaired electrons
  5. Electronic Spectra
    • Russell-Saunders coupling terms, ligand field terms, correlation diagrams
    • Assignment of d-d transitions using Tanabe-Sugano diagrams
    • Determination of d-orbital splitting energies
    • Repulsion terms and the nephelauxetic effect

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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.