CHEM 7100

Advanced Main Group Chemistry

Michael K. Denk


The course will be an introduction into modern main group element research with special emphasis on synthetic methods, computational tools and unusual reactivity patterns. The chemistry of high oxidation states and halogen chemistry will be treated only superficially. Polar organometallic chemistry will be covered from a fundamental point of view (mechanisms, structure and bonding). Heteronuclear NMR methods of spin 1/2 and multipolar nuclei will be be covered from a synthetic standpoint. Important reagents in particular their advantages and hazards will receive special attention both from a practical and from a historical perspective.






Course Material 

Chapter 0 Polar Organometallic Compounds

Chapter 1 Chains, Rings, Cages and Clusters
Chapter 2 Silicon
Chapter 3 Reactive Intermediates
Chapter 4 Chemistry of Phosphorus, Arsenic, Antimony and Bismuth

Chapter 5 Chemistry of Oxygen and Sulfur

Chapter 6 Computational Methods

Chapter 7 Solvents


Time (Place)

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., place t.b.a.

First Lecture: tba

Last Lecture: tba


Prof. Michael K. Denk


No book purchase required, Greenwood & Earnshaw, "Chemistry of the Elements" recommended for reading

Lecture notes are posted at

Additional Reading Material


  • Midterm Exam (30 %) time/date t.b.a.
  • Project (see below): (30 %)
  • Final Exam (40 %, time/date t. b. a.)


After class, by appointment, by e-mail



Project Format

Review article (20-40 pages, format: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl.) or computational project.


Some Fine Print

“The investigation of cases of academic misconduct cases and the cases that are heard at the Admissions and Progress Committee indicate that many graduate students, especially those new to Canada, are not aware of University regulations reflected in the attached statements.  In particular, issues related to academic consideration, dropping courses, and lack of awareness of behaviour that constitutes academic misconduct may all lead to disruption or delay of a student's academic studies and require considerable time and effort from faculty and administrative staff to resolve resulting problems. “

In the case of the graduate academic misconduct policy, the Graduate Calendar states: "It should not be possible for a student to claim that he/she was not warned about the University's academic misconduct regulations, what constitutes academic misconduct and the potential consequences of transgressing.”