Review fundamental chemistry (and physics) concepts: bonding, molecular structure and reactivity using approximate models, often developed for specific purposes.
Complement the study of key, but neglected, areas of chemistry: expand scope to some main group inorganic and to d–metal chemistry and materials (also organometallics).
Outline relevance of these topics to materials engineering & science: examples of hybrid and nanostructured materials (layered structures, highly porous MOF’s, transition metal catalysts, etc.).
Summary of atomic structure, periodic properties and molecular structure. Lewis structures, VSEPR model and Valence Bond theory. Elements of molecular orbital theory. Applications of the above concepts to the description simple inorganic and organic compounds (e.g., summary of the main functional groups).
Molecular symmetry: point groups, irreducible representations and character tables. Applications of symmetry concepts to molecular orbitals.
Lewis acids and bases: classification of reactions, hardness and softness, acidity parameters. Electrophilic and nucleophilic species in organic chemistry.
Chemistry of selected main group elements (e.g.: 1st, 2nd, 14th, 15th).
Introduction to the chemistry of transition metals. Structure and thermodynamics of coordination complexes. Crystal field and ligand field theories. Organometallic compounds. Polymerization catalysts.
Structure and symmetry of crystalline solids. Description and rationalization of representative inorganic crystal structures (metals, ionic and covalent solids). Defects. Metal oxides, nitrides and fluorides. Framework structures. Hydrides and hydrogen storage materials. Semiconductor chemistry. Molecular materials. Polymer crystal structures.
Classroom exercises illustrating the use of scientific software for: (a) molecular orbital calculations (b) visualization of crystal structures.
Prerequisites and tutorials
During the first weeks of the course, there will be a series of additional, optional tutorials. The aim of the tutorials is to provide a revision of some introductory chemistry concepts, which are usually taught in first year engineering courses:
1. The periodic table. Metals, non-metals and their oxides. Oxidation numbers. The mole.
2. Elementary reactions in water. Dissolution and precipitation reactions. Arrhenius acids and bases. Red-ox reactions.
3. Applications of the above concepts and stoichiometric calculations.
4. Lewis structures. Geometry and polarity of molecules.
5. Thermochemistry. Enthalpy and heat of reactions.
6. Entropy and Gibbs free energy. Chemical equilibrium and equilibrium constants.
7. Electrochemical cells. Electromotive force. Simple corrosion reactions.
Knowledge of the above topics represents a prerequisite for successfully attending the course.
Course slides and material
Slides and additional material for the course will be available through the BEEP web site: https://beep.metid.polimi.it/