Inorganic chemistry is the study of the properties and behaviour of inorganic compounds. It covers all chemical compounds except organic compounds. Inorganic chemists study things such as crystal structures, minerals, metals, catalysts, and most elements in the Periodic Table. An example is the strength of a power beam used to carry a specific weight or investigating how gold is formed in the earth.
Branches of inorganic chemistry include:
- Bioinorganic chemistry: the study of the interaction of metal ions with living tissue, mainly through their direct effect on enzyme activity.
- Geochemistry: the study of the chemical composition and changes in rocks, minerals, and atmosphere of the earth or a celestial body.
- Nuclear chemistry: the study of radioactive substances.
- Organometallic chemistry: the study of chemical compounds containing bonds between carbon and a metal.
- Solid-state chemistry/materials chemistry: the study of the synthesis, structure, and properties of solid phase materials.
- Coordination chemistry: study of coordination compounds and interactions of ligands.
- Inorganic technology: synthesizing new inorganic compounds.
- Synthetic inorganic chemistry: study of synthesizing chemicals.
- Industrial inorganic chemistry: study of materials used in manufacturing. E.g.: fertilizers.
Chemists in this field focus on elements and compounds other than carbon or hydrocarbons. Simply put, inorganic chemistry covers all materials that are not organic and are termed as non-living substances – those compounds that do not contain a carbon hydrogen (C-H) bond.
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