Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry of the d-Block Metals
Code CHEM214
Coordinator Dr JA Iggo
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2022-23 Level 5 FHEQ Second Semester 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (or general academic requirements):

CHEM111 Introductory Inorganic Chemistry; CHEM170 Introductory Spectroscopy 


The aims of the module are:
• To outline how bonding theories (crystal field, ligand field) have been developed by chemists to rationalise important properties of the d–block elements and to introduce the theory underlying the use of appropriate physical and spectroscopic techniques for characterising d–block complexes, and examples of their application.
• To illustrate the chemistry of the transition elements by a detailed study of three d-block triads and introduce the chemistry, and some applications, of complexes in low oxidation states.
• To explain the mechanisms by which transition metal complexes exchange ligands.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) By the end of the module students should be able to:

• Demonstrate an understanding of transition-metal chemistry
• Show an understanding of the concepts, applications and limitations of the different bonding theories relevant to transition-metal complex chemistry, and be aware of their relative relevance in different chemical contexts.
• Be able to identify key elements of the structures of transition-metal complexes, and apply their knowledge of spectroscopic and physical techniques to work out the correct structure for a complex, given relevant chemical and spectroscopic information.
• Be able to describe the social, economic and technological importance of selected transition elements.
• Understand and be able to describe the significance of the syntheses, characterisation and chemistry of 3d metal complexes
• Understand the origin of the 18-electron rule, its application and t he sort of complexes to which it applies.
• Demonstrate an understanding of the role of ligand field and other factors in determining how metal complexes undergo ligand exchange.
• Appreciate the bonding of different organic fragments to transition metals and how a variety of physical measurements can be used to substantiate these ideas.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lectures. 36 in-person lectures; 12 on bonding theories, 14 on 3d metal descriptive chemistry and ligand exchange, 10 on low oxidation state chemistry, pi-acceptor ligands and the 18-electron rule, and 4 revision/exam preparation sessions.

The coursework consists of two summative and two formative problem sets. Work is set approx. 2 weeks in advance of the hand-in deadline and feedback is given in four 1 hr in-person small group tutorials in the week following the deadline.

The class tests and final exam are designed to:
(1) allow students to demonstrate an understanding of transition-metal chemistry,
(2) test students' problem-solving skills in various aspects of transition-metal complex chemistry.
(3) test students' ability to construct cogent arguments.

*Lectures: 36 hr
*Tutorials: 4 hr



Topic 1 Importance of Transition-metal Chemistry
Topic 2 Ligands & complexes
Topic 3 Co-ordination numbers and shapes of transition-metal complex ions
Topic 4 Crystal Field Theory
Topic 5 Electronic spectra
Topic 6 The CFSE
Topic 7 CFSE effects on the kinetics of ligand substitution
Topic 8 Thermodynamics of ligand exchange
Topic 9 CFSE effects on other thermodynamic properties
Topic 10 Crystal field effects on the chemical physical properties of transition-metal complexes
Topic 11 Ligand field theory s -bonding ligands
Topic 12 p -bonding ligands
Topic 13 p -acceptor ligands
Topic 14 Organometallic chemistry: Review of basic reaction types
Topic 15 Metal-alkyl complexes
Topic 16 Metal-alkene and alkyne complexes
Topic 17-20 Descriptive Transition Metal Chemistry: Trends across the d–block: oxidation state stabilities, with examples. Differences between 3d and 4d/5d elements.
Topics 2 1-24 Mechanisms of ligand substitution reactions

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 32


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 114


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
unseen, closed-book, written examination Marked Anonymously  180    60       
Class Test On-line, time controlled class tests in week 5 and 10.  90    20       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
two problem sets    20