Inorganic and Materials Chemistry

Science & Technology
Course Code
CHEM 2330
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course investigates the structure, bonding and reactions of inorganic compounds and materials.

Since the d-block metals are different from the s-block and p-block materials in their colour and magnetic properties, different theories, such as crystal field theory and molecular orbital theory, are required to understand these compounds.

The bonding in ionic compounds, metals and semiconductors is studied as is the fabrication of integrated circuits, photovoltaic cells and LEDs.

The laboratory stresses synthesis and instrumental methods in inorganic chemistry.
Course Content


Line spectra, atomic orbitals, orbital shapes, electronic configurations, penetration and shielding. Lewis structures, valence bond theory, octet rule, dipole moment, VSEPR, molecular orbital theory, homo- and heteronuclear diatomics and s-p mixing.

Symmetry and Spectroscopy

Symmetry operations, point groups, character tables, IR spectroscopy, selection rules and chiral molecules. Proton and multinuclear NMR spectroscopy.

MO Theory: Ligand Group Orbital Approach

MO theory and the ligand group orbital approach applied to linear and bent triatomics as well as polyatomic molecules.

Introduction to Coordination Complexes

Properties of the d block metals, oxidation state, dn configuration, ligands, nomenclature, electroneutrality, coordination numbers 2-10, Kepert model of geometry, structural isomers, stereoisomers, enantiomers and diastereomers.

Bonding in Coordination Complexes

Spin states, crystal field theory for tetrahedral, square planar and octahedral structures, crystal field stabilization energy, electronic transitions, spectrochemical series, Jahn-Teller distortions, molecular orbital theory, electronic spectra, selection rules and  magnetic properties.

Chemistry of the First Row Metals

Select examples of the chemistry of the metals from scandium to zinc will be used to illustrate addition, substitution, dissociation and redox reactions and the trans and chelate effects. 


Unit cell, hexagonal, cubic and body-centred packing of spheres, NaCl, CsCl, CaF2, ZnS, SiO2  polymorphism in metals, alloys, bonding in metals and semiconductors, band theory, ionic lattices. Defects in lattices, electrical conductivity in ionic solids, colour pigments and chemical vapour deposition to form silicon for semiconductors.


Manufacture of integrated circuits, photovoltaic cells and light emitting diodes. Time permitting, additional topics will include gold nanoparticles, an introduction to thin films and self-assembled monolayers as well as current topics in materials chemistry.

Laboratory Content:

Experiments will be selected from the following list and additional experiments may be introduced:

  1. Quantitative UV/Vis Spectroscopy
  2. Symmetry and Spectroscopy
  3. Geometric Isomers of a Cr(III) Complex
  4. Preparation and Identification of Co(III) Complexes
  5. Paramagnetic Susceptibility: (a) Gouy Balance (b) NMR
  6. Outer Sphere Electron Transfer
  7. Coordination Chemistry: Werner Complexes
  8. Synthesis and Reactions of Tris(acetylacetonato)cobalt(III)
  9. Homogeneous Catalysis by Palladium
  10. A Siliver complex of an Ylide
  11. Ethylenediamine Complexes of Nickel(II)
  12. Kinetics of Trans-Cis Isomerisation of a Chromium Oxalato Complex
  13. Stability Constants of Some Cobalt(II) Pyridine Complexes
  14. Preparation of Ferrofluids
  15. Synthesis of Pigments
  16. Field trip to a materials synthesis facility
  17. Inorganic Term Project
Learning Activities

The course will be presented using lectures, classroom demonstrations, problem sessions and class discussions. Audio-visual materials will be used where appropriate. The laboratory course will be used to illustrate the practical aspects of the course material. Close coordination will be maintained between laboratory and classroom work whenever possible. 

Means of Assessment

Lecture Material 70%

  • Two or three in-class tests will be given during the semester (30%)
  • A final exam covering the entire semester’s work will be given during the final examination period (30%)
  • Any or all of the following evaluations, at the discretion of the instructor: problem assignments, quizzes, class participation [5% maximum] (10% in total)

Laboratory 30%

  • Each experiment will be evaluated. The majority of the experiments will have a formal written lab report and up to two of the experiments may be evaluated by students submitting a brief report of their results followed by an oral interview. 


A student who misses three or more laboratory experiments will earn a maximum P grade.

A student who achieves less than 50% in either the lecture or laboratory portion of the course will earn a maximum P grade.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Draw orbitals given a set of quantum numbers.
  2. Predict the relative magnitude of atomic radii, electronegativity and effective nuclear charge for a pair or series of elements.
  3. Draw Lewis structures for ligands such as phosphines, amines, cyanide, thiocyanate etc and predict molecular geometries and hybridization.
  4. Use molecular orbital theory to describe the bonding in diatomic and polyatomic species.
  5. Identify the symmetry elements present in a molecule, identify which point group the molecule belongs to and relate this to the IR spectrum of the molecule. Use symmetry elements to identify the number of signals expected in the NMR spectrum of a compound.
  6. If provided with the point group to which a molecule belongs, be able to describe its geometry
  7. Obtain and interpret IR, NMR and UV-visible spectra of compounds.
  8. Molecular orbital theory: use the ligand group orbital approach to describe the bonding in linear and bent H2X molecules and XH3 molecules.
  9. Identify the oxidation state of a metal, number of d electrons, the coordination number and coordination geometry of a given complex.
  10. Relate electronic transitions to the intensity and colour of compounds.
  11. Explain the magnetic properties of coordination compounds and the use of magnetic properties to assign coordination geometry.
  12. Distinguish between structural and stereo isomers in complexes including enantiomers and diastereomers.
  13. Explain the bonding in octahedral, tetrahedral and square planar coordination compounds using crystal field theory and molecular orbital theory.
  14. Explain the difference between high and low spin complexes and its relation to the spectrochemical series.
  15. Use the trans effect to predict the outcome of a reaction in a square planar complex.
  16. Explain why Jahn-Teller distortions occur.
  17. Identify the weaknesses of crystal field theory.
  18. Use molecular orbital theory to explain the bonding in complexes with and without pi bonding.
  19. Account for differences in reactivity across the first row transition metals.
  20. Identify the addition, substitution, dissociation and redox reactions of the first row transition elements.
  21. Explain the chelate effect and its importance in ligand design.
  22. Describe close packing of spheres and different structure types in ionic solids such as NaCl, CsCl, CaF2, ZnS, SiO2.
  23. Describe the bonding in metals and semiconductors.
  24. Describe the construction of integrated circuits, photovoltaic cells and LEDs.
  25. Synthesize inorganic compounds and materials.
Textbook Materials

Consult the Douglas College Bookstore for the latest required textbooks and materials. Example textbooks and materials may include:

Online readings from LibreTexts Chemistry.

Douglas College, Chemistry 2330 Laboratory Manual.



CHEM 1110 (C or better)


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for CHEM 2330
Athabasca University (AU) AU CHEM 3XX (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU CHEM 205 (4)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR CHEM 2XX (3)
Columbia College (COLU) COLU CHEM 2nd (3)
North Island College (NIC) NIC CHE 2XX (3)
Okanagan College (OC) OC CHEM 221 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU CHEM 230 (3) & SFU CHEM 236 (2)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU CHEM 2X11 (0) & TRU CHEM 2XXX (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV CHEM_V 208 (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC CHEM 2XX (4)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC CHEM 225 (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU CHEM 222 (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2024