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Topics for Inorganic Chemistry Orientation Exam for Incoming Graduate Students

  1. Atomic Stucture
    1. Particle in a Box
    2. Bohr atom & quantization
    3. Quantum mechanics and quantum numbers
      1. n, prinicipal quantum number
      2. l, azimuthal or angular momentum quantum number
      3. ml, magnetic quantum number
      4. ms, spin quantum number
    4. Orbitals
    5. Electron configurations (e.g. Al = [Ne]3s23p1)
      1. Aufbau (building up) principle
      2. Exceptions to the Aufbau principle
    6. Relationships (Trends) between Electron Configuarations and the Periodic Table
      1. Groups (Families) and Periods
        1. alkali metals
        2. alkaline earth metals
        3. chalcogens
        4. halogens
        5. noble gases
        6. Representative Elements or Main Group
        7. transition metals
        8. lanthanides
        9. actinides
        10. metalloids or semi-metals
      2. Atomic radii
        1. Lanthanide contraction
      3. First ionization energies
      4. Electron affinities
      5. electronegativities
      6. Prediction of stable oxidation states using electron configurations
  2. Acid-Base Chemistry
    1. Acidic, Basic and Amphoteric Oxides (i.e. Acidic, Basic and Amphoteric Anhydrides)
    2. Acid-Base Definitions
      1. Arrhenius Acid and Base defintions
      2. Bronsted-Lowry Acid and Base definitions
      3. Lewis Acid and Base defintions
      4. Concept of hard and soft acid and bases
    3. Predicting strength of oxyacids
  3. Oxidation-Reduction Chemistry (Redox)
    1. Balancing redox equations
    2. Identifying the reducing and oxidizing agents in a reaction
    3. Inner-sphere and outer sphere electron transfer
  4. Bonding and Stucture
    1. Definiton of Ionic Bonding
      1. Born-Haber cycles for the formation of ionic substances
        1. lattice energies
    2. Definition of Covalent Bonding
      1. Coordinate Covalent bonding (dative bonding)
    3. Lewis Dot structures of compounds of the Main Group
    4. Valence Bond Theory (Hybrid Orbital Theory)
    5. Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory for the prediction of structure
    6. Polar and Non-polar Molecules
    7. Simple Molecular Orbital Schemes (Molecular Orbital Theory)
  5. Solubility rules (aqueous) for simple inorganic salts
  6. Chemical kinetics
  7. Chemical equilibrium
  8. Simple thermochemistry
  9. Electrochemistry
  10. Organometallic Chemistry of the Main Group
  11. Coordination Chemistry
    1. ligand types
      1. monodentate ligands
      2. neutral and anionic ligands
      3. σ donor ligands
      4. π-acceptor (π-acid) ligands
      5. multidentate (chelating) ligands
    2. Common geometries of complexes
    3. Isomers
      1. coordination sphere isomers
      2. stereochemical siomers (geometric isomers)
        1. cis-trans
        2. fac-mer
        3. optical isomers
      3. polymerization isomers
      4. linkage isomers
  12. Mechanisms and catalysis in inorganic chemistry
    1. oxidative addition
    2. reductive elimination
    3. &beta-hydride elimination
    4. Insertion of and alkene into M-H or M-R bond
    5. Heterolytic splitting of hydrogen using early transition metals
    6. Homolytic splitting of hydrogen by lae transition metals via oxidative addition
    7. Hydrogenation of alkenes
    8. Hydroformylation
    9. Isomerization of alkenes via chain-walking
    10. Hydrozirconation
      1. anti-Markownikoff and Markownikoff additions
    11. Wacker process
    12. Alkene (olefin) metathesis
    13. Relationship of kinetics and reaction mechanisms
  13. General theory of infrared spectroscopy
  14. Electronic spectra (UV-visible spectoscopy)
    1. Spectrochemical theory
    2. Crystal field theory
    3. Ligand field theory
      1. Reduced Racah parameters
      2. Claculation of ΔO (10 DqO)
      3. Tanabe-Sugano diagrams
  15. Properties of Solid State Materials
    1. Band theory
      1. Conductors
      2. Insulators
      3. Semi-conductors
      4. Band Gaps
    2. Design and manufacture of solid state devices
      1. diodes, n-p and p-n junctions
      2. transistors, n-p-n and p-n-p devices
      3. Metal oxide semidconductors and Field efect Transistors (MOS-FET)

Reference books for study:

  1. Ebbing, D. and Gammon, S., "General Chemistry," 7th Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York, NY (2002).

  2. Shriver, D. F.; Atkins, P.; and Langford, C. H., "Inorganic Chemistry," 2nd edition or newer, W. H. Freeman and Company, New York, NY (1994).

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