Main Group and Coordination Chemistry

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Main Group and Coordination Chemistry

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    CHEM 111 or CHEM 191 or CHEM 112

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Principles of main group chemistry illustrated by the chemistry of the hydrides and organometallic compounds of the Main Group elements. Basic coordination chemistry emphasising structure and bonding in coordination complexes. An introduction to lanthanides and to symmetry in chemistry.

    CHEM 203 Main Group and Coordination Chemistry focuses on how the concepts and techniques of chemical science can be used to gain an understanding of the synthesis, structure and reactivity of inorganic and organometallic molecules.

    Course Structure
    The topics covered in CHEM 203 include:

    • Shape, Symmetry and Structure
      • Symmetry elements, symmetry operators and their consequences in discrete molecules
      • Point groups, character tables and their use in describing chemical bonding
      • An introduction to space groups
    • The Periodic Table and Chemical Bonding: Chemistry of some main group elements including main group organometallic chemistry
      • The periodic table, its history and development and periodic trends within the table
      • Theories of chemical bonding and the nature of bonding of organic groups to main group elements
      • Bonding in main group compounds, with particular emphasis on the boron hydrides
      • Main group Lewis acids and bases and hard and soft acid and bases (HSAB) principles
      • Structural methods in main group chemistry - multinuclear NMR and ESI-MS
      • Hapacity, metal alkyls, reactivity and ?-elimination
    • Chemistry of Coordination Compounds
      • Transition metal (TM) complexes, the nature of TM ligand bonds and the classification of ligands
      • Stereochemistry and stereoisomerism in coordination compounds
      • Crystal-field theory, hole formalism and application to octahedral, tetrahedral and square planar geometries
      • Electronic spectra and magnetism as a tool to investigate the properties of co-ordination compounds
      • The Jahn-Teller effect and its consequences
    • Chemistry of Lanthanoids and Their Complexes
      • Introduction to lanthanoid metals (Ln?s) and Ln coordination compounds
      • The basis of two types of practical applications of Ln complexes: as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agents and as luminescent materials

    Learning Outcomes
    Expectations at the completion of the course:

    • An appreciation of the breadth and excitement of modern inorganic chemistry and its relationship to the discipline of chemistry and other sciences
    • An understanding, through the selected lecture themes, of how concepts of bonding, co-ordination chemistry and solid-state structure can be used to predict and rationalise the synthesis, structure and reactivity of inorganic and organometallic compounds
    • Through self-directed learning, stimulation of students to evaluate the limitations and extensions of these concepts and apply them to examples from several disciplines
    • The attainment of practical, problem-solving and time-management skills
    • All students will have acquired knowledge and understanding of the foundation concepts of inorganic chemistry

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.