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Metal Complex Coordination Chemistry & Characterization


About this course

The importance of metal ions in chemistry and life is often underestimated. It is only in relatively recent years that the pivotal role of metal ions has become recognized, with breakthrough applications in innovative materials, medicinal chemistry, supramolecular chemistry and nanotechnology. This course deals with the chemistry of d-block elements in various oxidation states and the molecular structure, geometry, symmetry chirality and thermodynamic properties of the corresponding complexes. The magnetic and electronic properties of metal complexes are evaluated with ligand field theory. Dynamic aspects will be investigated with optical (absorption and luminescence) and magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and imaging. Special attention is paid to metal-ligand interactions with biologically relevant (macro)molecules and the metabolic transformation of metal complexes in biological systems, with focus on metal-protein and metal-nucleic acid interactions in relationship to inorganic medicinal chemistry. The use of metal complexes and coordination polymers in supramolecular chemistry and material sciences will also be treated. During the practicals of the course, you will have the chance to play with molecular building blocks by synthesising and characterising a mononuclear, oligonuclear and polynuclear metal–ligand coordination complexes, including organometallic-complexes, a sub-class of inorganic complexes that have a metal-carbon bond.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

  • recognize the importance of essential and non-essential metal ions in biological systems and material sciences;
  • reflect on the metal-ligand bond considering the d-block elements in various oxidation states;
  • deduce biologically-relevant metal ligand interactions via ligand replacement reactions;
  • understand the fluxional aspects of metal-coordinated ligands and their relevance for inorganic medicinal applications;
  • elaborate on the application of lanthanide ions in theragnostic coordination polymers;
  • predict the outcome of discrete polynuclear metal-organic complex synthesis and describe how the synthesis and final product can be analysed;
  • describe several approaches by which organometallic complexes can be made, how they can be conjugated to biological or bio-active molecules and how they interact with biomolecules like proteins and oligonucleotides;
  • apply laboratory class skills performing hands-on experiments (synthesis and characterization) and reflect on those via written report.

Teaching method and examination

Written exam (60%) and group report (40%).
Final mark is composed if both parts were marked with at least a 5.0 and the weighted average should be 5.5 or higher.

Required prior knowledge

Mandatory Knowledge:
ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety
Assumed Knowledge:
BNT20806 Bio-Inorganic Chemistry

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    11 maart 2024

    • Ends
      3 mei 2024
    • Term *
      Period 5
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    Enrolment period closed
  • Start date

    10 maart 2025

    • Ends
      2 mei 2025
    • Term *
      Period 5
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    Enrolment starts in 46 days
These offerings are valid for students of TU Eindhoven