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Module FXX-2202:
Transition-metal/Solid state

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr John Thomas Prabhakar

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this module is to build on inorganic chemistry taught in year 1 with particular reference to key aspects of the chemistry of d- and f-blocks and to explore solid state chemistry (synthesis, properties, applications) in more detail.

Course content

Prof M.A. Beckett: (12h) the topics covered include a revision of CFSE from year 1 and an introduction to covalency in metal-ligand bonding with ligand field theory. Binary metal carbonyls will be surveyed and the 18e rule will be introduced. Metal carbonyl synergic bonding. An introduction to organometallic chemistry will be presented including metal alkene bonding, metal alkyls, cyclopentadienide and arene coordination chemistry. Oxidative addition and reductive elimination reactions will be examined. A brief overview of lanthanide and actinide chemistry will also be presented.

Dr J. Thomas (12h): The uses and properties of solid-state materials will be coverered in addition to the different synthetic procedures used in their preparation and the different methods of characterization, with an emphasis on 'state-of-the art' methodology. The properties and utility of solid-state materials (including defects) utilizing specific examples such as conductors and semi-conductors, black and white photography, zeolites, solid state lasers, superconductors, etc will be discussed

Assessment Criteria


Threshold (40%). Knowledge and understanding covered in the course in basic. Problems of a routine nature are generally adequately solved. Transferable skills are at a basic level.


excellent (>70%): knowledge base is extensive and extends well beyond the work covered in the programme. Conceptual understanding is outstanding. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved with efficiency and accuracy, problem solving procedures are adjusted to the nature of the problem.


Good (60%): knowledge base covers all essential aspects of subject matter dealt with in the programme and shows good evidence of enquiry beyond this. Conceptual understanding is good. Problems of a familiar and unfamiliar nature are solved in a logical manner; solutions are generally correct and acceptable. Performance in transferrable skills is sound and shows no significant deficiencies.

Learning outcomes

  1. The student should be able to show an understanding of binary metal carbonyls including structural aspects and metal carbonyl bonding; know the 18-electron rule and how to apply it to organometallic compounds, and be able to distinguish between saturated and unsaturated metal centres; understand oxidative-addition and reductive-elimination as key reactions that occur in organometallic systems; describe using MO diagrams ligand field theory as a follow on from CFSE in transition metal complexes; show an understanding of the basic principles of lanthanide and actinide chemistry (f-block)

  2. The student should be able to describe key process in the synthesis and characterzation of solid-state materials and their appropriateness under specific circumstances; demonstrate a clear understanding of the properties and utility of solid-state materials, including defects, utilizing specific examples such as conductors and semi-conductors, black and white photography, zeolites, solid-state lasers, superconductors, etc.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Private study

Background reading to support learning


The module has 24 hours of 1h lectures (including two tutorials held in class) at 2lectures per week.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information

Subject specific skills

  • PS11 Problem-solving skills including the demonstration of self-direction, initiative and originality
  • SK2 Demonstrate a systematic understanding of fundamental physicochemical principles with the ability to apply that knowledge to the solution of theoretical and practical problems
  • PS16 The ability to work in multi-disciplinary and multi-skilled teams
  • SK4 Demonstrate, with supporting evidence, their understanding of synthesis, including related isolation, purification and characterisation techniques
  • SK6 Develop an awareness of issues within chemistry that overlap with other related subjects
  • SK9 Read and engage with scientific literature
  • SK11. Reading and engaging with scientific literature.
  • CC1 the ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts,concepts,principles and theories relating to theSubject areasCovered in theirProgramme
  • CC2 the ability to applysuch knowledge and understanding to thesolution of qualitative and quantitativeProblems that are mostly of a familiar nature


Resource implications for students

No additional resource implications

Talis Reading list

Reading list

'Inorganic Chemistry' 3rd Ed. C.E. Housecroft and A.G. Sharpe Essential 'Chemistry 3', Burrows, Holman, Parsons, Pilling, Price - essential 'Periodic Table at a glance , M.A. Beckett and A.G.W. Platt, Blackwell,, 2006, Recommended.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Co-requisite of:

Courses including this module