Coordination Chemistry – Structure-Function-Relationships

Which topics were covered in the lecture? Which focus was set?

The coordination chemistry of transition metal complexes and their electronic structure and the resulting properties were discussed, as well as structure-reactivity- and structure-function-relationships examined, to determine the reactivity of the complexes. The main focuses included the design of the coordination environment and the application of metal complexes in the desired reactions, e.g. the activation of small molecules like dioxygen, dinitrogen, or the splitting of water, the use of redox-active ligands, and the description of metal-metal-bonds in polynuclear complexes. Metal-organic compounds with metal-carbon-bonds were NOT part of the lecture. Further topics include the application of complexes in catalysis, like heterogenic catalysis with metal-complexes on solid surfaces, their application in supramolecular chemistry, and their extension to the f-block elements. The lectures of Professor Köhler specifically dealt with magnetism, EPR, and solid-state coordination chemistry of metal complexes. The goal of the module is that (in the future) the students will be able to understand and evaluate current questions regarding the coordination environment and the reactivity of transition metal complexes on their own, as well as be able to develop their experimental procedure that leads to a solution.

How did the Lecturer give this lecture? (blackboard writings, script, slides)

This last semester the lecture was realized as a combination of the recordings of Prof. Hess, that were accessible via moodle, and the lectures of Prof. Köhler on Zoom. Whether the form factor will change in the future can not be stated at this point.

How were the tutorial sessions structured? How time-consuming are the exercise sheets?

To prepare the students, current research topics were used as examples in the exercises and own concepts were deduced. As many of the lectures of summer semester 2020 switched to an online version, I found the possibility to watch (and re-watch) the lecture videos of Prof. Hess on moodle at my own rate and to prepare the exercises with it, very convenient. Additionally, Prof. Hess was very accommodating regarding the exercises and proposed small groups at flexible times, that the students were able to determine by voting. Prof. Köhler was, as usual, very open towards adaptations in the module course and tried to make the situation as comfortable as possible.

What was the exam like? (written or oral, length of the exam, time required for exam preparations)

The course will be completed with a 90-minute written exam and a catch-up exam will be offered at the end of the semester.

What are the required qualifications for this course? Are there certain bachelor’s or master’s lectures that are fundamental or complementary to this lecture?

The recommended basics, that this module is based on, include for example the lecture on metal complexes and metal-organic chemistry, which grants an insight into the coordination chemistry of the transition metals, as well as basic knowledge about important spectroscopic methods for the analysis of molecular compounds and a hint of knowledge about the reactivity of molecular compounds.

Would you recommend the lecture to others? What was your motivation for choosing this lecture?

As a student in the 2nd master semester, one can expect from this lecture a fundamental knowledge towards/for the chemical and physical connections of the modern coordination chemistry and the reactivity of transition metal complexes. The lecturers offer an unstressed and interactive learning experience.