Trent University Department of Chemistry

CHEM 4220H: Inorganic Materials

2017 Winter


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Office Location: CSB D105 / Telephone: 705-748-1011 ext. 7505

Course Description:

Inorganic materials chemistry can include a virtually endless number of topics. The topics included for discussion in this course will focus on the electronic and chemical properties of extended structures (amorphous, crystalline and hybrid solids) and the unique properties of nanoscale materials. Some specific topics to be covered will include band structure of solids, conductivity of materials, including semiconductors and superconductors, nanoscale materials and hybrid materials.

The course will be comprised of two sections; the first section will be a traditional lecture format. The remainder of the course will be discussion based, focusing on current topics in inorganic materials research. Students will be expected to conduct a lecture on a topic in inorganic materials and lead the class discussion. The instructor will assign the topics.

Required Texts: None required. Extensive use of the primary literature.

Course Format

Peterborough Campus:

Please check the Trent University timetable to confirm times and locations.

Meeting Type / Day / Time / Location
Lecture / Wed / 9-10:50 AM / DNA B105
Lecture / Fri / 12-12:50 PM / DNA B105

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of the course, a student should:

  1. Understand the qualitative aspects of bonding in solid state electronic materials including semiconductors and superconductors.
  2. Possess a conceptual understanding of the materials with dimensions on the nanoscale and the impact of size dependent electronic properties.
  3. Develop a thorough appreciation of the state of the art with regards to an individually assigned topic in inorganic materials research.
  4. Develop research skills in the primary literature as well as improve their written, oral and editorial communication skills.

Course Evaluation

Type of Assignment / Weighting, % / Due Date
Topic Proposal / 5% / Week 4
Draft Bibliography / 10%
Peer Evaluation of Bibliography Drafts / 10% / Week 7
Presentation (30 minutes) / 15% / Week 10-12
Participation in Class Discussions / 5%
Annotated Bibliography / 35% / Last day of Class

Course Component Descriptions:

Topic Proposal: A three paragraph description of your presentation including an introduction to the topic and the citation of two sample papers on your topic.

Annotated Bibliography: A 10-12 page paper including an introduction, conclusion and summaries of 8 papers from the primary literature on a topic assigned by the instructor. A list of topics and detailed instructions will be posted on Blackboard. There will be a hands-on workshop on resources for reviewing the primary literature (i.e. Web of Science, SciFinder) and citation management tools.

Peer Evaluation: You will review a draft from one of your classmates using the Peer Review comment sheet provided in Blackboard. Your review may point out both positive and negative aspects of the draft.

Bibliography Draft: In Week 6, you will submit two copies of a partial draft of your bibliography. This will include an introduction and summaries of three papers on your topic. This draft will be reviewed by the instructor and one of your classmates.

Presentation: Each student will present on their bibliography topic in weeks 10-12. Details on the expected presentation structure will be posted on Blackboard. Each student presentation will be 30 minutes long, making appropriate use of presentation technology.

Exam: A two hour exam on the lecture content of the course.

Week-by-week schedule

The topics listed here a general guideline and may be subject to minor modifications as the course progresses

Week / Description
Week 1 / Band structure, MO theory, Fermi Energy
Weeks 2-3 / Conductors, Semiconductors and Insulators
Weeks 4-5 / Superconductivity
Reading Break
Weeks 6-7 / Nanodimensional materials
Weeks 8-9 / Hybrid and composite materials

Department and/or Course Policies:

Chemistry Department Policy on Completion of Course Work:

The Department of Chemistry considers that completion of all components of a course is necessary for a student to be given credit in that course. Therefore, it is the policy of the Department that a student must complete, and hand in if applicable, all material associated with each component of the course. This applies equally to work that is handed in or completed too late to earn any marks in the course, in conjunction with the policy of the course instructor on lateness.

Students who fail to meet this requirement for reasons that would make it reasonable to assign an ”incomplete” mark for the course should consult the instructor well before on which final marks are due for the course in question. In the absence of an incomplete standing being assigned, the student will receive a mark of “0” and an “F” grade in the course.

University Policies

Academic Integrity:

Academic dishonesty, which includes plagiarism and cheating, is an extremely serious academic offence and carries penalties varying from failure on an assignment to expulsion from the University. Definitions, penalties, and procedures for dealing with plagiarism and cheating are set out in Trent University’s Academic Integrity Policy. You have a responsibility to educate yourself – unfamiliarity with the policy is not an excuse. You are strongly encouraged to visit Trent’s Academic Integrity website to learn more.

Access to Instruction:

It is Trent University's intent to create an inclusive learning environment. If a student has a disability and documentation from a regulated health care practitioner and feels that he/she may need accommodations to succeed in a course, the student should contact the Student Accessibility Services Office (SAS) at the respective campus as soon as possible, (Peterborough, Blackburn Hall, Suite 132, 705-748-1281 or email

Safe Assignment:

Final annotated bibliographies must be submitted electronically to the SafeAssign drop box in Blackboard. SafeAssign utilizes plagiarism-checking software. Further information about SafeAssign will be provided on the class LearningSystem/Blackboard site.