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Metals and Coordination Chemistry

  1. Mar 10, 2013 #1
    My syllabus notes the following points about transition metals and complex ions, but provides no textbook.

    d – and f – Block Elements

    Transition Elements General introduction, electronic configuration, occurrence and characteristics, general trends in properties of the first row transition elements – physical properties, ionization enthalpy, oxidation states, atomic radii, colour, catalytic behaviour, magnetic properties, complex formation, interstitial compounds, alloy formation; Preparation, properties and uses of K2 Cr2O7 and KMnO4. Inner Transition Elements Lanthanoids – Electronic configuration, oxidation states and lanthanoid contraction.
    Actinoids – Electronic configuration and oxidation states.
    Inorganic stereochemistry.

    Co – Ordination Compounds

    Introduction to co – ordination compounds, Werner’s theory;
    ligands, co – ordination number, denticity, chelation;
    IUPAC nomenclature of mononuclear co – ordination compounds, isomerism;
    Bonding – Valence bond approach and basic ideas of Crystal field theory, colour and magnetic properties;
    Importance of co – ordination compounds ( in qualitative analysis, extraction of metals and in biological systems ).

    Could I find these in any typical general chemistry book? I am about to get General Chemistry by Linus Pauling and was wondering if I'd find it all in there in good detail. If not, which book would you recommend which has all of this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2013 #2


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    Yes, Pauling certainly covers all these topics and is a great book although it is somewhat outdated. But, in contrast to most successing general chemistry books, Pauling at least knew what he was talking about although some of his ideas had to be modified later on.

    PS There is also a textbook forum
  4. Mar 11, 2013 #3
    That forum appears to be geared towards textbook reviews rather than queries though?

    Is there any textbook you would recommend which covers these topics in as much detail as possible (at least enough for challenging problems in an undergraduate course) whilst still remaining correct? (By correct I mean accurate in its thinking, as Pauling's must be, not necessarily "up to date", so long as the theory regarding complex ions and the transition metals themselves isn't seen as wrong currently, even if modern computational methods are better, whatever, I just want a good book covering these topics in good detail.) I would only need the basics of crystal field theory (and magnetic properties of the complexes and what causes their colours, as noted in my syllabus list).

    Thanks very much.

    Edit: Also, what is meant by "inorganic stereochemistry" really? I've seen a bit of complex isomerism but I think inorganic stereochemistry means something different as it's listed separately. And I don't need to know much about the lanthanoids and actinoids, just oxidation states, electron configuration and "lanthanoid contraction" (I'm taking your word Pauling has all this so I'll just wait till I get my copy to understand!). With transition metals, I'll probably need a standard undergraduate understanding of their reactions, oxidation states and periodic properties.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  5. Mar 12, 2013 #4
    Help anyone?
  6. Mar 12, 2013 #5


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    I don't think there is much more in an undergrad course on inorganic stereochemistry than what you mentioned. In my case it's 20 years now that I studied this topics in university so I can't provide you an up to date reference. How about Cotton Wilkinson, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry?
    Didn't your teacher recommend some books?
  7. Mar 12, 2013 #6
    He recommended Atkins but not for the exam I'm preparing for (he doesn't know how to prepare for that so I'm looking for recommendations online).

    Would you say Pauling does the job fully, or should I go with Cotton Wilkinson instead? I ask, since I already have a few other books in the mix and I've heard Pauling is very useful and informative in general, but if doesn't have complete coverage of anything (in particular these two topics, transition metals and coordination chemistry) then I'll have to go for more specialist books.

    I am aware the f-block isn't that well studied at undergraduate level and for my purposes as I said I would only need oxidation states, electron configuration and "lanthanoid contraction", i.e. only a very cursory knowledge of the f-block. Transition metals in a lot more detail of course. With crystal field theory I only need the "basics" (as well as isomerism etc. for complex ions, which I've heard is often not covered carefully).

    I won't need anything up-to-date really, unless undergraduate-level understanding of these fields has changed much in recent years. (I'm still aiming for a classical inorganic understanding for this, nothing more.) So I suppose it really comes down to the level of detail Pauling gives, because it seems like a desirable book otherwise (but obviously I can't buy every book I hear of!).

    Edit: From a glance at the Table of Contents of Advanced Inorganic Chemistry, it would not seem the book has any concrete material devoted to thorough study of complexation or complex ions at all ... if Pauling covers all this thoroughly I will just take that, or any other recommendation you may have.
  8. Mar 13, 2013 #7
    So should I go for Pauling or not? I only need a thorough understanding of the principles behind each of those topics I mentioned, not a huge amount of details (though there are some cases like oxidation states of the transition metal cations, or nomenclature of ligands in coordination, where of course I will largely be memorizing details as well as taking the principles on board - but still, I'm not looking to become a database, just to have a thorough grasp of this stuff).
  9. Mar 14, 2013 #8


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    Go for Pauling. It's great reading, too.
  10. Mar 14, 2013 #9
    Thank you, I will. :)
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