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Chemistry 309: s- and p-Block Elements: Chemistry and Applications

Course Level: 
Third Year
Academic Year: 

Specific sections for reading in the textbook WILL BE INDICATED prior to each lecture.

Topic 1.  Atomic Structure – 2 lectures
Reading:  M & T Sections 2.1 and 2.2.

            Periodic Table of the Elements 
            Atomic Number, Mass Number, and Isotopes
            Atomic Orbitals and Quantum Numbers

Topic 2.  Periodic Trends – 2 lectures
Reading:  M & T Sections 2.2 and 2.3; Section 8.1; Appendices B.2, B.3 and B.4

            Many-electron Atoms
            Ground-state Electron Configurations
            Electron Penetration and Shielding
            Ionization Energies and Electron Affinities
            Atomic Radii

Topic 3.  Molecular Structures – 4 lectures
Reading:  M & T Chapter 3 and Sections 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3; Section 8.1;
Appendix C.

            Lewis Structures
            VSEPR and Molecular Shapes
            Electronegativity and Dipole Moments
            Covalent Bond Lengths
            Symmetry Operations, Elements, and Point Groups
            Character Tables and Introductory Group Theory

Topic 4.  Bonding Theories:  Simple Molecules – 4 lectures
Reading:  M & T Sections 5.1, 5.2, and 5.3.

            Valence Bond Theory
            Hybridization of Atomic Orbitals
            Molecular Orbital Theory
            Homonuclear Diatomic Molecules
            Heteronuclear Diatomic Molecules

Topic 5.  Bonding Theories:  Polyatomic Molecules – 4 lectures
Reading:  M & T Sections 5.4 and 5.5.

            Valence Bond Theory
            Multiple Bonding in Polyatomic Molecules
            Molecular Orbital Theory
            Polyatomic Molecules

Topic 6.  Hydrogen – 5 lectures
Reading:  M & T, Sections 8.2, 13.7.1, and 13.7.2.

            Isotopes and Isotope Effects (Kinetics and IR Spectroscopy)
            Multinuclear NMR Spectroscopy
            Activation of H2 on Metal Surfaces; Catalytic Hydrogenation

Hydrogen Economy – 1 lecture  (Summarized on Handout)

Binary Hydrogen Compounds – 1 lecture
Reading:  M & T, Sections 8.3 and 8.4.

Topic 7.  p-Block Chemistry – General Trends – 4 lectures
Reading:  M & T Chapter 8, Section 3.4.

            Thermodynamic versus Kinetic Stability
            Multiple Bonding
            Inert Pair Effect
            Hydrides; Hydrogen Bonding
            Chemical Properties

Topic 8.  p-Block Chemistry – Group 13 Elements – 3 lectures
Reading:  M & T Sections 8.5 and 15.4.

            The Elements
            Boron Hydrides; 11B NMR Spectroscopy; Higher Boranes; Wade’s Rules
            Reactions of Boranes
            Hydrides, Halides, and Alkyls of the Group 13 Elements
            Boron-Nitrogen Compounds

Topic 9.  p-Block Chemistry – Group 14 Elements – 2 lectures
Reading:  M & T Section 8.6.

            The Elements and their Hydrides and Halides
            Organosilanes; Silicon-Oxygen Compounds
            Compounds with Si=Si and Si≡Si Multiple Bonds

Topic 10.  p-Block Chemistry – Group 15 Elements – 2 lectures
Reading:  M & T Section 8.7.

            The Elements; Historical Aspects and their Hydrides and Halides
            Phosphorus-Nitrogen Compounds; Polyphosphazenes
            Triple-Bond Reactivity of the P≡P Molecule

M & T refers to the required textbook for this course, namely “Inorganic Chemistry”, Fourth Edition, by Gary L. Miessler and Donald A. Tarr, Pearson Prentice Hall Publishers, 2010.  Textbook material is often augmented by online handouts.