AS.030.204(W) Chemical Structure and Bonding with Laboratory

Course Webpage:

Last Updated: May 12, 2016



An introduction to the synthesis, structure, and reactivity of materials and inorganic compounds. Modern approaches to chemical bonding, including molecular orbital, ligand field, and crystal field theories, will be applied to understanding the physical and chemical properties of inorganic materials. Other topics to be discussed include magnetic properties, electronic spectra, magnetic resonance spectra, and reaction kinetics. The integrated laboratory will cover synthetic, measurement, and calculation methods of inorganic chemistry, and include hands-on exposure to state of the art materials research.

Students taking the course will become knowledgable about the content presented in the pre-lectures, the content discussed during class, and the laboratory experiments. Relevant textbook chapters are mentioned for reference only.

From Spring 2015 onward, this course also carries the writing-intensive designation.

Class Times: MWF 9:00-9:50 AM
Lab Times: M or Th 1:30-5:00 PM
Classrooms:Monday/Wednesday/FridayBloomberg 478 (building 10 on the campus map)
LabsUTL G82/G84 (building 68 on the campus map)

Prof. Tyrel M. McQueen
Office: New Chemistry Building #312 and Bloomberg #301
Office Hours:Special Hours: 1-2 PM on Monday, May 9th, in Bloomberg 337 or just stopping by ("open door policy").

TA Final Review Session: Friday, May 6, 2016, 2-4 PM, in Bloomberg 261
TA Independent Projects Help Session: Monday, May 9, 2016, 2-4 PM, in Bloomberg 337

Lab DayTEACHING ASSISTANTSLocation to turn Write Ups In
Monday Jessica Panella ( Box in NCB 105 (building 14 on the campus map)
Imogen Weatherhead
Thursday Jennifer Morey ( Box in NCB 105 (building 14 on the campus map)
Juan Chamorro

Required Text and Materials (these are for your reference, all relevant course material will be seen in the class proper):

Supplementary Resources (all on reserve in the library):

Attendance to class, exam, and laboratory periods is required. Missed lab periods must be made up; except in exceptional circumstances, it is expected that lab makeups will occur during the same week as the lab period you missed. Missed exams cannot be made up. Instead, your grade for that exam will be assigned based on your performance in other exams (see below). Except in the case of sickness, absences from exams and lab periods must be excused at least 3 days in advance with documentation. In the case of sickness on exam days, Health and Wellness will provide notes and this documentation is required. In the case of sickeness on laboratory days, no note/documentation is required for the first absence, but is expected for subsequent absences. In ALL cases you MUST email TMM BEFORE the start of the exam or lab period. If you do not request permission BEFORE the start of the exam or lab period, you will receive a 0 for that exam or lab EVEN IF you provide documentation. In rare cases, an exam or lab will be excused in order to help you to recover from a serious illness, but these arrangements must be worked out in advance and with collaboration from Dean Boswell.

General Grading Policy

Point Distribution: 5% Watching Pre Lectures, 5% Pre Lecture Quizzes, 5% Class Participation, 20% Laboratory, 20% Laboratory Writeups/Problem Sets, 10% each of two hour exams, 15% final exam, 10% Independent Project and Writeup

Late Assignments: Problem sets will be marked off 50% for each day late. Late Pre Lectures receive zero credit.

Final grades will be assigned by looking at class averages, medians, and large point gaps between students. However, the following table indicates minimum grades awarded for a given percentage of points earned:

PercentageMinimum Grade

Final Course Results

Above is the final distribution of scores for Spring 2016.


Regrade Policy: If you believe that a mistake was made in grading your exam, you may submit a regrade request. A regrade request should be a clean sheet of paper with a short description of what was done wrong paperclipped to the front of your exam. TMM reserves the right to inspect the exam for other grading errors if you submit a regrade request. All regrade requests are due by the dates that will be posted here. Submission of a formal regrade request is required to have your exam score changed, but TMM is of course available to discuss any issues or problems you have.

Excused Exams: If you are appropriately excused from an exam (see above), your class rank on each of the exams you took will be determined, and the average of this rank will be calculated. For the exam you missed, the numerical grade for the student of this rank will be entered.

Laboratory Experiments

Your in-laboratory grade will be determined by the quality of your notes and observations as written down in your laboratory notebook. Laboratory notebooks are primary documentation and cannot be taken out of the laboratory, and instead will be turned into your TA at the conclusion of each laboratory period. You will be able to take the carbon copy of your notes in order to complete the associated problem sets / write ups.

The Care and Feeding of Your Lab Notebook (Lab Book Grading Sheet)

Lab Writeup Gradesheet (Example Writeup)

Homework Assigments

There are two kinds of homework assignments. Pre Lectures are short video lectures followed by an online quiz that are required to be completed by midnight prior to every class period. Problem Sets are associated with the laboratory experiments that you carry out and are due by 9 AM the following week (on the same day as your scheduled lab). If you have lab on Mondays, the questions from one lab are due by 9 AM the following Monday. If you have lab on Tuesdays, the questions from one lab are due by 9 AM the following Tuesday. If you have lab on Thursdays, the questions from one lab are due by 9 AM the following Thursday. Problem Sets are graded in the usual way, i.e. a number on a scale of 0 to 10. Pre Lectures are graded on an all-or-nothing (0 or 10 points) basis (for the purposes of grading any "passing" score on the Pre Lecture quiz will be awarded a full 10 points). If you do not pass the Pre Lecture quiz on the first attempt, you have an opportunity to watch a second (different) video lecture and have a second attempt at the problem(s), but only if the second attempt is also made before the deadline.

Independent Projects

Independent Project Guidelines

PROPOSAL DUE: Friday, April 1, 2016 at 11:59:59 PM (in box or via email)

PROPOSAL REVISIONS DUE: Monday, April 11, 2016 at 09:00:00 AM (class)

REPORT DUE: Friday, April 29, 2016 at 11:59:59 PM

REPORT REVISIONS DUE: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 09:00:00 AM

Your independent project laboratory reports are due on Friday, April 29, at 11:59:59 PM. Reports will be accepted with no late penalty up to 11:59:59 PM on Sunday, May 1. You will receive feedback on your reports by end of day on Monday, May 2. Revised reports are due on Wednesday, May 11, at 09:00:00 AM (final exam period).

Pre Lectures

1Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, January 24 No Prelecture (Snowed out)
1Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, January 26
1Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, January 28
2Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, January 31
2Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, February 2
2Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, February 4
3Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, February 7
3Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, February 9
3Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, February 11
4Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, February 14
4Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, February 16 No Prelecture (Snowed out)
4Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, February 18
5Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, February 21
5Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, February 23
5Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, February 25 No Prelecture (Exam)
6Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, February 28
6Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, March 1
6Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, March 3
7Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, March 6
7Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, March 8
7Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, March 10
8Monday08:59:59 AM Eastern, Monday, March 21
8Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, March 22
8Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, March 24
9Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, March 27
9Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, March 29
9Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, March 31 No Prelecture (Exam)
10Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, April 3
10Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, April 5
10Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, April 7
11Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, April 10
11Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, April 12
11Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, April 14
12Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, April 17
12Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, April 19
12Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, April 21
13Monday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Sunday, April 24
13Wednesday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Tuesday, April 26
13Friday11:59:59 PM Eastern, Thursday, April 28

Check that you are able to play pre-lecture videos by trying out the demo available at

Laboratory Handouts

  1. Week 2 Lab: Safety Rules, Precautions, and The Art of Measurement
  2. Week 3 Lab: Spectrochemistry
  3. Week 4 Lab: Symmetry
  4. Week 5 Lab: No Week 5 Lab (EXAM Week); Remember: Monday lab will do symmetry on Monday due to Snow out in Week 4.
  5. Week 6 Lab: Quantum Dots
  6. Week 7 Lab: Solid State Synthesis
  7. Week 8 Lab: Metal Organic Frameworks
  8. Week 9 Lab: No Week 9 Lab (EXAM Week)
  9. Week 10 Lab: Redox/Electrochemistry
  10. Week 11 Lab: Magnetic Properties (Full TEMPO Data: TEMPOMagnetizationData.csv, Sample size is 23 mg)
  11. Week 12/13 Lab: Independent Projects (see above)

Pre Lectures and Problem Sets will be posted here as they are required for class. Pre Lectures will be posted no later than 5 PM on the date of the previous class (so a Wednesday prelecture link will appear here by 5 PM on Monday), but will sometimes be posted earlier. Lab handouts will typically be posted by 5 PM Friday of the previous week.

Tentative Schedule (can and will change!)
Class WeekTopicLaboratory
Week 1 (1/25-1/29): Coordination Chemistry: Structures and Isomers (2 lectures, Monday Snowed Out) [M&T Ch. 9] No lab (Snowed Out)
Week 2 (2/1-2/5): Coordination Chemistry: Structures and Isomers (1 lecture), Symmetry as an Organizing Principle and Introduction to Point Groups (2 lectures) [GER Ch. 4, M&T Ch. 4] Safety and the Art of Measurement
Week 3 (2/8-2/12): Crystal Fields and Spectrochemical Series (2 lectures), Effective Presentation of Scientific Data (1 lecture) [M&T Ch. 4,10] Spectrochemistry Lab
Week 4 (2/15-2/19): Symmetry Continued: Point Groups (2 lectures, Monday Snowed Out) [M&T Ch. 5] Symmetry Lab (Thursday, Monday Closed)
Week 5 (2/22-2/26): Symmetry Continued (1 lecture), Beyond CFT: MO Theory (1 lecture), HOUR EXAM 1 [TMMHO] Symmetry Lab (Monday, None Thursday)
Week 6 (2/29-3/4): Beyond CFT: MO Theory (3 lectures) [M&T Ch. 11] Quantum Dots Lab
Week 7 (3/7-3/11): From MO Theory to Spectroscopy (1 lecture), Introduction to Spectroscopy (2 lectures) [GER Ch. 5] Solid State Synthesis Lab
Spring Break Week (3/14-3/18)
Week 8 (3/21-3/25): Donor-Acceptor Chemistry (2 lectures), Kinetics and Thermodynamics (1 lecture) [GER Ch. 6, M&T Ch. 6] MOF Lab
Week 9 (3/28-4/1): Inorganic Complex Reactivity (2 lectures), HOUR EXAM 2 [M&T Ch. 12] No Lab (Exam Week)
Week 10 (4/4-4/8): Probing Reactions with Spectroscopy (1 lecture), From Reactivity to Electrochemistry (2 lectures) [A&J Ch. 14] Redox/Electrochemistry Lab
Week 11 (4/11-4/15): Electrochemistry (1 lecture) to Products and Magnetism (2 lectures) [TMMHO] Magnetic Properties Lab
Week 12 (4/18-4/22): Inorganic and Solid State Reactivity (3 lectures) [TMMHO] Independent Project 1
Week 13 (4/25-4/29): Bringing It All Together: Symmetry, Group Theory for Catalysis and Energy Conversion [TMMHO] Independent Project Continued
Wednesday, May 11 Final Exam (scheduled by registrar) 9:00 AM - Noon

Extra Reference Material

Efficient Reading of Papers In Science and Technology
Crystal Field Splittings
Example Exam 1 Questions
Hour Exam 1 Supplementary Matter
Applying Symmetry to a Problem
Example Exam 2 Questions
Hour Exam 2 Supplementary Matter
Structure Visualization
Curie-Weiss Fitting Tutorial

These will be posted here as mentioned in the class.

Lecture Notes

  1. Class 01
  2. Class 02
  3. Class 03
  4. Class 04
  5. Class 05
  6. Class 06
  7. Class 07
  8. Class 08
  9. Class 09
  10. Class 10
  11. Class 11
  12. Class 12
  13. This Class was Hour Exam 1
  14. Class 13
  15. Class 14
  16. Class 15
  17. Class 16
  18. Class 17
  19. Class 18
  20. Class 19
  21. Class 20
  22. Class 21
  23. Class 22
  24. Class 23
  25. This Class was Hour Exam 2
  26. Class 24
  27. Class 25
  28. Class 26
  29. Class 27
  30. Class 28
  31. Class 29
  32. Class 30
  33. Class 31
  34. Class 32
  35. Class 33
  36. Class 34
  37. Class 35 (Demo Day)

Problem solving lecture slides are posted here after completion in class.

Audit Policy

This course is not open for auditing.

Late Adds

You may add this course after the start of the semester. You must, however, contact TMM directly to make arrangements to make up any important work you may have missed.

Disability Accommodations:

If you are a student with a disability or believe you might have a disability that requires accommodations, please contact Dr. Brent Mosser in Student Disability Services, 385 Garland, (410)516-4720,

Honor Code

The strength of the university depends on academic and personal integrity. In this course, you must be honest and truthful. You may collaborate with other students in this course, but you must acknowledge this collaboration. Furthermore, you should collaborate with others rather than simply copying the ideas or solutions of others. Ethical violations include cheating on exams, plagiarism, reuse of assignments, improper use of the internet and electronic devices, unauthorized collaboration, alteration of graded assignments, forgery and falsification, lying, and facilitating academic dishonesty. For more information, see the guide on "Academic Ethics for Undergraduates" and the Ethics Board web site (