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 Lanthanide and Actinide Chemistry
Code CHEM411
Coordinator Prof HC Aspinall
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2018-19 Level 7 FHEQ First Semester 7.5

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

Either completion of year 3 of an MChem programme or BSc (Hons) in Chemistry 


The aim of the module is to give students an overview of the most important aspects of the unique chemistry and spectroscopy of the lanthanide and actinide elements, illustrated with contemporary examples of the applications of their compounds in chemistry and technology.

Learning Outcomes

Students will understand the underlying principles of lanthanide and actinide chemistry, and how these differ from those of d-transition metal chemistry

Students will have an understanding of the most important aspects of spectroscopy of compounds of the lanthanide

Students will have an appreciation of how recent research is developing applications for the elements and their compounds

Students will have appreciation of the strategic importance of the elements e.g. in nuclear power and sustainable energy applications

Students will be able to read and critically evaluate research papers from the recent literature

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Lecture - 16 x 1hr Lectures

Tutorial - 2 x 1hr tutorials


Introduction and background

·         Occurrence and extraction of the elements
·         Electronic structure and magnetic properties of the elements
·         Oxidation states
·         Bonding in complexes
Coordination chemistry
·         Coordination numbers and coordination geometries of complexes
·         < /span>Complexes in aqueous solution: polyaminocarboxylates and related complexes
·         Chemistry involved in solvent extraction purification of the elements
·         Complexes with O-donor ligands: crown ethers and podands, b-diketonates, alkoxides
·         Complexes with N-donor ligands: aromatic N-donors, dialkylamides
Organometallic chemistry
·         Structural trends and bonding
·         Cyclopentadienyl complexes
·          Cyclo-ocatatetraenyl complexes
·         Alkyl complexes
·         Organometallic hydrides
·         Organometallic compounds in low oxidation states
·         Electronic absorption spectroscopy
·         Luminescence spectroscopy
·         NMR spectroscopy of paramagnetic complexes
·         NMR shift reagents (including chiral shift reagents)
·         Contrast agents for clinical magnetic resonance imaging
·         Luminescent compounds: lasers, phosphors, electroluminescent devices, luminescent probes for biological applications
·         Catalysts and reagents for organic synthesis

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.
Explanation of Reading List:

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 16
16 x 1hr Lectures
2 x 1hr tutorials
Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 57


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Unseen Written Exam  120  Semester 1  100  Yes  Standard UoL penalty applies  Written Exam Notes (applying to all assessments) Written Examination. Both problem-solving questions and essay questions will be set in the examination. There will be some element of choice. August resit for PGT students if applicable. Integrated Master's students resit at the next normal opportunity. 
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late