Inorganic chemistry is a very broad area of chemistry which includes all of the elements of the periodic table, including some that are the elements usually considered to be part of organic chemistry. Some portions of inorganic chemistry deal strictly with inorganic compounds, but others are a blend of two or more other subdisciplines, such as organometallic, bioinorganic, and materials chemistry. As a result of this variety, inorganic chemistry has applications ranging from catalysis to medicine. For example, inorganic compounds are important catalysts in numerous industrial processes, including the synthesis of methanol, acetic acid, and polyethylene. Inorganic compounds are used to treat various medical conditions, such as the antitumor compound cis-Pt(NH3)2Cl2 (cis-platin), and new metal-containing complexes for therapeutic and medical imaging are being developed.
The design and synthesis of new compounds and the discovery of new metalloproteins has led to the discovery of unusual and highly complex structures, many of which contain multiple metal centers. Inorganic chemistry employs the whole range of modern instrumentation to analyze and characterize new compounds, including single crystal X-ray structure determination, several types of spectroscopy, electrochemical methods, magnetic susceptibility, computational methods, and others.
For more information, go to the ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry.