Module code: CHE3063

Module Overview

The module builds upon knowledge from Inorganic modules at level 4 and 5. This is achieved by introducing aspects of inorganic chemistry that have not been previously addressed or by reviewing and expanding knowledge towards applications. The main topic of the module is the bonding and reactivity of Organometallic compounds and the application of Organometallic d-block compounds in homogeneous catalysis. The application of group theory to the prediction and analysis of vibrational spectra of carbonyl complexes, is introduced. This expands on previous knowledge that a student gains at level 5 concerning point groups and molecular symmetry. To compliment applications of Organometallic compounds, the applications of Inorganic materials will be emphasized by detailed discussion of the operating mechanism and uses of silicon-based and molecular-based electronics. A current ‘hot topic’ in Inorganic materials research is considered: for example, the chemistry, properties and prospective uses of metal-organic frameworks or perovskites.

Module provider

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Module Leader

TURNER Scott (Chst Chm Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 75

Lecture Hours: 30

Tutorial Hours: 5

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 30

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Introduction to bonding models relevant to organometallic chemistry including the basis and consequences of back-bonding, hapticity, 18-electron rule and its exceptions. Discuss these topics in the context of a molecular orbital approach to bonding. Relating the bonding to reactivity and compound stability.

Occurrence, reactivity, preparation and structures of transition metal carbonyls and clusters. Modes of coordination. Phosphine ligands and electronic and steric variability (Tolman parameters). The consequences and evidence for back-bonding in carbonyls, phosphines, alkenes, alkynes and other ligands with synergistic bonding.

Synthesis and structure of complexes containing alkene and alkyne, allyl and butadiene ligands. Carbene complexes. Metathesis reactions.

Structure, synthesis, reactivity, and bonding in complexes of cyclopentadienyl and other Cn cyclic ligands. Discussion of fluxionality and the consequences in NMR spectra.

Metal complexes as homogenous catalysts. Overview of basics, review of what catalysts are, separation of homo- and heterogeneous, selectivity (chemo, regio, stereo), activity, elementary steps in mechanisms, homolytic and heterolytic bond activation, catalytic cycles, ligand cooperation.


Metal complexes as homogeneous catalysts. Discussion of processes such as alkene isomerism, hydrogenation and hydroboration, oxidative addition, reductive elimination, hydroformylation, Tennesee-Eastmen acetic anhydride process, Fischer-Tropsch, Monsanto and Cativa process, coupling reactions.

Review of the basics of symmetry, group theory and character tables. Use of group theory to predict and analyze vibrational spectra, assign symmetry labels to bands and interrogate if bands are active in IR or Raman spectra.

Basics of conductivity theory. Band structures. Silicon-based electronic devices. Doping strategies and devices using p-n junctions. Correlations with molecule-based electrical conductors. Spin-Peierls transitions and dimensionality of conduction.

Overview of the structure, chemistry, and applications of a ‘hot topic’ in Inorganic chemistry research. For example, metal organic frameworks and discussion of examples of their proposed applications in gas separation, H2 storage, catalysis and drug delivery.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework 20
Examination 2 hr invigilated (closed book) examination 80

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

  The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • A detailed understanding of the synthesis, structure, and bonding in organometallic compounds of transition metals.

  • A general understanding of the application of organometallic compounds in homogeneous catalysis and a detailed working knowledge of catalytic cycles.

  • Knowledge of the chemistry and properties of inorganic materials with appreciable electrical conductivity, both silicon based, inorganic continuous lattice materials and molecular materials.

  • A good understanding of a ‘hot topic’ in current Inorganic research

The above is achieved by assessing through problem sets and an open book examination with problem-based questions, often originating from issues in the research literature. This provides an opportunity for each student to use fundamental and advanced knowledge to address problems in an authentic way, and to be exposed to current research trends.

 Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


Coursework, 20%, problem set (addresses learning outcomes 1 to 6)

Examination, 80%, closed book 2 hours (addresses learning outcomes 1 to 5)


  Formative assessment

The teaching methods include tutorials that are spaced throughout the semester and appear at the end of each major topic: introduction to organometallic chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis, symmetry and spectroscopy, inorganic materials. These sessions are used to give the students formative practice at solving problems relating to the taught topics. Similar style problems will be found in the summative coursework and examination.  


The tutorial and revision sessions will be used to verbally feedback to the students on their approach to the problems that are discussed in these sessions. 

Module aims

  • To explain the fundamental theory of bonding, structure, and nomenclature for d-block organometallic compounds
  • To explain the synthesis and reactivity of d-block organometallic compounds and emphasise their application in heterogeneous catalysis and catalytic cycles.
  • To detaol Molecular symmetry and its application to rationalize and predict aspects of bonding and vibrational spectroscopy
  • Outline selected Inorganic materials chemistry: the chemistry, properties, and mechanism of action of electrically conducting materials.
  • To introduce a selected 'hot topic' in Inorganic materials chemistry: examples could be metal-organic frameworks, perovskite-based materials, current research in catalysis, energy materials. This will change from year to year, depending on the current, popular, trends in Inorganic chemistry research.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Be able to discuss the theory of metal-ligand bonding in transition metal organometallic compounds for a variety of typical ligands. KC
002 Be able to discuss the synthesis and reactivity of a range of organometallic compounds KC
003 Understand general reactivity and mechanisms in heterogeneous catalytic reactions, in order to draw catalytic cycles. KCP
004 Understand how molecular symmetry is applied to the interpretation and prediction of vibrational spectra KCP
005 Be able to discuss the structure, chemical composition and conductive mechanisms of inorganic-based and molecular materials that have appreciable electrical conductivity. KC
006 Understand the chemistry, structure, and applications of a current ¿hot topic¿ in inorganic chemistry. KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

 The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Allow the student to build upon their fundamental and intermediate knowledge from the levels 4 & 5 Inorganic themed modules.

  • To provide each student with an understanding of the connections between inorganic and organic chemistry through the topic of organometallic chemistry.

  • Emphasize to the student how organometallic chemistry is used in applications, with a focus on homogeneous catalysis.

  • Allow the student to use their knowledge of bonding, structure, and reactivity to solve problems in the elucidation of synthesis, structure, and compound stability.

  • Provide space for students to discuss inorganic materials chemistry at the forefront of current research in electronics and a selected ‘hot topic’ of current research trends.

    The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures

  • Tutorials and directed learning

  • Revision classes

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: CHE3063

Other information

The School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas:

One of the major topics in this module is the chemistry and mechanism of action of heterogeneous catalysts based on organometallic compounds. Understanding this topic will allow the student to see how the efficiency and energy consumption of chemical reactions can be improved: a major factor in approaches to Sustainability. This subject is a major area of Industrial research and activity, thus providing knowledge and skills directly relevant to Employability. Student’s will need to use specialist software, introduced at level 4 and 5, to construct answers to problems, which will maintain each student’s Digital Capabilities. Students will also be directed to use specialized web-pages that provide 3D views of molecules with a focus on symmetry.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Chemistry with Forensic Investigation BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Chemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.