Theoretical inorganic chemistry

An alternative perspective on the area of inorganic chemistry begins with the Bohr model of the atom and, using the tools and models of theoretical chemistry and computational chemistry, expands into bonding in simple and then more complex molecules. Precise quantum mechanical descriptions for multielectron species, the province of inorganic chemistry, is difficult. This challenge has spawned many semi-quantitative or semi-empirical approaches including molecular orbital theory and ligand field theory, In parallel with these theoretical descriptions, approximate methodologies are employed, including density functional theory.

Exceptions to theories, qualitative and quantitative, are extremely important in the development of the field. For example, CuII2(OAc)4(H2O)2 is almost diamagnetic below room temperature whereas Crystal Field Theory predicts that the molecule would have two unpaired electrons. The disagreement between qualitative theory (paramagnetic) and observation (diamagnetic) led to the development of models for "magnetic coupling." These improved models led to the development of new magnetic materials and new technologies.

Crystal field theory explains why [FeIII(CN)6]3− has only one unpaired electron. Inorganic chemistry has greatly benefited from qualitative theories. Such theories are easier to learn as they require little background in quantum theory. Within main group compounds, VSEPR theory powerfully predicts, or at least rationalizes, the structures of main group compounds, such as an explanation for why NH3 is pyramidal whereas ClF3 is T-shaped. For the transition metals, crystal field theory allows one to understand the magnetism of many simple complexes, such as why [FeIII(CN)6]3− has only one unpaired electron, whereas [FeIII(H2O)6]3+ has five. A particularly powerful qualitative approach to assessing the structure and reactivity begins with classifying molecules according to electron counting, focusing on the numbers of valence electrons, usually at the central atom in a molecule.

Nitrogen dioxide, NO2, exhibits C2v symmetry.

A central construct in inorganic chemistry is Group Theory. Group Theory provides the language to describe the shapes of molecules according to their "point group symmetry". Group Theory also enables factoring and simplification of theoretical calculations.

Spectroscopic features are analyzed and described with respect to the symmetry properties of the, inter alia, vibrational or electronic states. Knowledge of the symmetry properties of the ground and excited states allows one to predict the numbers and intensities of absorptions in vibrational and electronic spectra. A classic application of Group Theory is the prediction of the number of C-O vibrations in substituted metal carbonyl complexes. The most common applications of symmetry to spectroscopy involve vibrational and electronic spectra.

As an instructional tool, Group Theory highlights commonalities and differences in the bonding of otherwise disparate species, such as WF6 and Mo(CO)6 or CO2 and NO2.

конецформыначалоформыReaction pathways

The theory of chemical reactions is more challenging than the theory for a static molecule. Marcus theory provides a powerful linkage between bonding, mechanism, and reactivity. The relative strengths of metal-ligand bonds, which can be calculated theoretically, anticipates the kinetically accessible pathways.

I. Reading Exercises:

Exercise 1.Read and memorize using a dictionary:

tools and models, computational chemistry, complex molecules, precise quantum mechanical description, semi-quantitative approaches, density function theory, unpaired electrons, magnetic coupling, quantitative and qualitative theories, T-shaped, reactivity, valence electrons, point group symmetry, simplification, vibrational state, excited state, absorption, substituted metal carbonyl complexes, metal-ligand bond

Exercise 2.Answer the questions:

1) What promoted the development of theoretical and computational chemistry?

2) How did the exceptions to qualitative and quantitative theories lead to the development of new technologies?

3) What are the advantages of qualitative theories?

4) What role does Group Theory play in inorganic chemistry?

Exercise 3.Match the left part with the right:

1. The theory of chemical reactions is a) is difficult.
2. The most common applications of symmetry to spectroscopy b) the magnetism of many simple complexes.
3. For the transition metals crystal field theory allows one to understand c) more challenging than the theory for a static molecule.
4. Precise quantum mechanical descriptions for multielectron species d) involve vibrational and electronic spectra.

II. Speaking Exercises:

Exercise 1.Describe bohr model, molecular orbital theory, crystal field theory, electron counting, molecular shapeusing the suggested words and expressionsas in example:

Bohr model

alternative perspective; atom; tools and models; computational chemistry; complex molecules

example:

An alternative perspective on the area of inorganic chemistry begins with the Bohr model of the atom. This model uses the tools and models of theoretical chemistry and computational chemistry. It expands into bonding in simple and then more complex molecules.

Molecular orbital theory

semi-quantitative; semi-empirical; approaches; ligand field theory

Crystal field theory

exceptions; development; diametric; room temperature; two unpaired electrons; magnetism

Electron counting

powerful qualitative approach; reactivity; members; valence electrons; central atom

Molecular shape

language; point group symmetry; factoring; simplification; calculations; symmetry properties; excited states; intensities

Exercise 2.Ask questions to the given answers:

1) Question: ___________________________________________ ?

Answer: Marcus theory provides a powerful linkage between bonding, mechanism, and reactivity.

2) Question: ___________________________________________ ?

Answer: A classic application of Group Theory is the prediction of the number of C-O vibrations in substituted metal carbonyl complexes.

3) Question: ___________________________________________ ?

Answer: Within main group compounds VSEPR theory predicts the structures of main group compounds.

III. Writing Exercises:

Exercise 1.Complete the sentences with the suggested words:


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