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CHEM 510 A: Current Problems in Inorganic Chemistry

Meeting Time: 
WF 9:00am - 10:20am
BAG 331A
Professor Kovacs picture
Julie A. Kovacs

Syllabus Description:

PDF Version of Course Syllabus

PDF Version of Course Outline

Lectures for this course will be delivered in-person in Bagley 331A. Links to lecture slides  will be provided prior to the lecture to facilitate note-taking. The lecture schedule, assignments, and  due dates are, or will be, included in the syllabus and Course Outline PDF links above, as well as on the Homework page.  Video Tutorials are linked below that provide tutorials for using the Protein Data Bank, and programs such as Chimera, which allows you to visualize a protein structure, rotate it, and zoom in on the active site, and create pretty graphics for your final report.


Professor Julie Kovacs

Office Hours: By Appointment 

Contact by email:



Office Hours: By appointment, in person or Zoom

Contact by email: TBA

Course Description

This course will explore the interdisciplinary field of bioinorganic chemistry. Approximately half of all biological enzymes take advantage of the unique properties of transition metals to catalyze reactions critical to life. We will explore the metal ion (M+n) properties important for catalytic activity, how Nature selects the correct M+n for a given function, and how M+n catalytic sites can be spectroscopically probed. Spectroscopic methods to be discussed include Mössbauer, EPR, XAS, EXAFS, and resonance Raman. The thermodynamics and kinetics of proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) will be discussed in the context of H-atom transfer (HAT) and biological substrate oxidation. Dinitrogen activation and reduction, as well as photosynthetic H2O oxidation will also be explored.

Lecture Notes


Video Tutorials

Final Paper Guidelines

Catalog Description: 
Primarily for doctoral candidates in inorganic chemistry. Current topics (e.g., bioinorganic, advanced organometallic, materials and solid state, advanced inorganic spectroscopy). See department for instructor and topics during any particular quarter. Offered: Sp.
Section Type: 
Last updated: 
March 1, 2023 - 10:54pm