I'm a theoretical condensed matter physicist, on a field of magnetism research. I wonder if any of you could recommend a concise and well-written textbook on inorganic chemistry to learn concepts of the ligand field theory, coordination of transition metal complexes and their magnetic states, etc.

During my work, I just look up the periodic table and see the electronic configurations, but the oxidization of the transition metal complexes depends on ligands, and it's frustrating as I don't seem to understand a general principle.

I'm quite familiar with solid state physics, and a bit of quantum chemistry. It would be great if you could recommend me textbooks or materials on inorganic chemistry for "solid state physics" or "material science".


Any text book suitable for an advanced undergraduate course in inorganic chemistry should cover these topics. Which text may be best for this purpose will be a matter of opinion, so I am not going to recommend a specific one. Links to specific books/editions will risk being out of date for future readers of this question and answer. However, some author combinations have been active in writing text books in this field for many years. I would look for a recent edition of the book by either:

  • Meissler and Tarr (as of this writing, the most recent edition is the 5th edition by Meissler, Fischer and Tarr, published by Pearson, 2013)
  • Shriver and Atkins (as of this writing, the most recent edition is the 6th edition by Shriver, Weller, Overton, Rourke, and Armstrong, published by WH Freeman, 2014)

Just be careful since the phrase "inorganic chemistry" in some uses refers to the introductory course sequence in chemistry, what is more commonly called "general chemistry".

  • $\begingroup$ After searching for books in Amazon, I came to realize that Inorganic chemistry actually deals with almost everything that is not organic chemistry. But I think now I can find topics which I am interested in. Thanks for the advice! $\endgroup$ – Dongwook Go Jan 8 at 1:21

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