Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 3 sessions / week, 1 hours / session

Recitations: 1 session / week, 1 hour / session


This course provides a systematic presentation of the chemical applications of group theory with emphasis on the formal development of the subject and its applications to the physical methods of inorganic chemical compounds. Against the backdrop of electronic structure, the electronic, vibrational, and magnetic properties of transition metal complexes are presented and their investigation by the appropriate spectroscopy described.



Cotton, Frank A. Chemical Applications of Group Theory. 3rd ed. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1990. ISBN: 9780471510949.


Albright, Thomas A., Jeremy K. Burdett, and Myung-Hwan Whangbo. Orbital Interactions in Chemistry. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1985. ISBN: 9780471873938.

Harris, Daniel C., and Michael D. Bertolucci. Symmetry and Spectroscopy: An Introduction to Vibrational and Electronic Spectroscopy. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1989. ISBN: 9780486661445.

Tsukerblat, Boris S. Group Theory in Chemistry and Spectroscopy: A Simple Guide to Advanced Usage. New York, NY: Dover Publications, 2006. ISBN: 9780486450353.


There are 5 problem sets: 4 graded and one optional. They are worth 10% of the final grade, and will be graded on a 0-3 grading scale, with 3 being the highest score.


There are three exams, two during the semester and one final exam. Each is worth 30% of the final grade.


Three exams (30% each) 90%
Problem sets 10%



1 Symmetry elements and operations  
2 Operator properties and mathematical groups  
3 Irreducible representations and character tables  
4 Molecular point groups I  
5 Molecular point groups II  
6 LCAO and Hückel theory I  
7 Hückel theory II  
8 N-dimensional cyclic systems Problem set 1 due
9 Band theory in solids  
10 General electronic considerations of metal-ligand complexes  
11 Frontier molecular orbitals of σ-donor, π-donor and π-acceptor ligands  
12 Octahedral ML6 σ complexes Problem set 2 due
13 Octahedral ML6 π complexes  
14 Angular overlap method and M-L diatomics  
15 AOM for MLn ligand fields  
  Exam review Problem set 3 due
  Exam 1  
16 Introduction to spectroscopy  
17 The weak field  
18 The strong field  
19 Tanabe-Sugano diagrams  
20 Selection rules for electronic spectroscopy  
21 Descent in symmetry  
22 Metal-ligand multiple bonds (M=L)  
23 Metal-ligand multiplebonds (L=M=L) Problem set 4 due
  Exam review  
  Exam 2  
24 Cyclopentadienyl compounds  
25 Metal-metal bonded complexes  
26 Vibrational spectroscopy  
27 Raman spectroscopy  
28 Normal coordinate analysis  
29 Spin orbit coupling, double groups, and ligand fields  
30 Magnetic susceptibility and the Van Vleck equation Problem set 5 assigned
31 Transition metal magnetism  
32 Transition metal magnetism (cont.)  
  Exam review  
  Exam 3