CHEM40390 Topics in Inorganic Chemistry

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module covers extensively modern and frontier aspects of inorganic chemistry. The module is divided into three sections. Students will develop a solid foundation in the coordination chemistry and organometallic chemistry of the Lanthanoid and Actinide elements. A large emphasis is placed in understanding the fundamental differences in 4f and 5f chemistry. The second part of the course focuses on the application of main group elements in modern organic synthesis. This includes topics on alkali and earth alkali reagents, especially recent advances in chiral and regio-selective nucleophilic additions. Use of Lewis acid catalysis, Diels-Alder cyclizations, Friedel-Crafts and Reformatsky type reactions will also be examined in-depth. Other topics of interest include (but are not limited to) polymerization and main-group supported hydrogenation. The bioinorganic part of the course is aimed at giving a survey of the most exciting recent developments in this field covering hydrogenases, photosynthesis, iron-sulfur clusters, nitrogenase, heme iron enzymes, multinuclear copper sites and metal transport and protein assembly. Model chemistry, highly sophisticated spectroscopy and the biotechnological use of enzymes will be discussed.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module, students should:
- Moreover, an appreciation is developed in the everyday uses for these elements and their compounds.
- Gain an understanding of 'exotic' chemistry
- Apply the taught concepts to new problems in contemporary organo-f-element chemistry
- Develop knowledge of how main group elements can be applied to handle difficult problems in organic synthesis.
- Identify biological problems, learn about possible synthetic and analytical approaches to problem solving and experience the effectiveness of using a combination of methods.

Course is graded as Pass (60%) or Honours (76%)

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
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Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Assignments x3 Varies over the Trimester n/a Not yet recorded No


Carry forward of passed components
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Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
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Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

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