Ph.D Entrance examinations



And Similar Tests for Ph.D. &/or Lectureship Entrance Examination,

E.g.: TIFR/ GATE/ IISc etc.

Details of Examinations

  • The CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) syllabus is divided by us into 6 Sections. Each section has Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry portions (and some have Analytical Chemistry) with its syllabus. 
  • Periodic Tests will be conducted by us on each Section.
  • Approximately 2 Tests/month will be taken.
  • The entire schedule of Tests will be given at the time of admission.
  • Some doubt clearing classes and study material will be provided as per the necessity of the students.


Pattern of exam and marks distribution

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Inorganic Chemistry

1) Chemical Periodicity

Atomic and ionic radii, ionization energy, electron affinity and electronegativity – definition, methods of determination or evaluation, trends in periodic table and applications in predicting and explaining the chemical behaviour. Classification of elements on the basis of electronic configuration. Modern IUPAC Periodic table. General characteristic of s. p. d and f block elements. Position of hydrogen and noble gases in the periodic table. Effective nuclear charges, screening effects. Slater’s rules, Inert pair effect.

2) Structure and bonding in homo- and heteronuclear molecules, including

    shapes of molecules (VSEPR Theory)

Covalent Bond – Valence bond theory and its limitations, directional characteristics of covalent bond, various types of hybridization and shapes of simple inorganic molecules and ions. Valence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory to NH3, H3O+, SF4, CIF3, ICI2- and H2O. LCAO-MO theory for homonuclear and heteronuclear diatomic molecules; orbital symmetry and overlap; Walsh diagrams multicenter bonding in electron deficient molecules, bond strength and bond energy, percentageionic character from dipole moment and electronegativity difference.

Ionic Solids – Ionic structures, radius ratio effect and coordination number, limitation of radius ratio rule, lattice defects, semiconductors, lattice energy and Born-Haber cycle, solvation energy and solubility ofionic solids, polarizing power and polarisability of ions, Fajans rule. Metallic bond-free electron, valence bond and band theories.Weak Interactions – Hydrogen bonding, vander Waals forces.


Inorganic Chemistry

3) Concepts of acids and bases, Hard-Soft acid base concept, Non- aqueous solvents.   

Acid-Base Equilibria: General concept of acid-base equilibria in water and in non-aqueous solvent,

Definition of pH and pH scale (Sorenson and operational definitions), and its significance, relative strength of acids, Pauling rules. Amphoterism. Lux-Flood concept, Lewis concept. Superacids Hard and Soft Acids and Bases (HSAB) :Classification of acids and bases as hard and soft. Pearson’s HSAB concept, acid-base strength and hardness and softness. Symbiosis, theoretical basis of hardness and softness, electronegativity and hardness.

Hammett acidity function, pH calculation for aqueous solutions of very weak acid and very weak base, salts of weak acid and weak bases, mixture of weak acid and its salts, mixture of weak base and its salts, hydrolysis of salts.

Buffer Solutions and Titrations: Theory of buffer solution, dilution and salts effects on the pH of a buffer, Buffer index, Criteria and expression of maximum buffer capacity, Application buffers, Preparation of buffer solutions of known ionic strength (Typical examples). Practical limitations in use of buffers, Metal ion buffers and their applications, Biological buffers and their applications, Acid-base neutralisation curves; indicator, choice of indicators. Non-aqueous Solvents: Reactions in non-aqueous solvents with reference to liquid NH3 and liquid SO2 and HF.

4) Nuclear chemistry: nuclear reactions, fission and fusion, radio-analytical techniques and activation analysis.

Nuclear Chemistry: General characteristics of radioactive decay, parent-daughter decay growth relationships Decay kinetics, artificial transmutation and artificial radioactivity, Nuclear stability and nuclear binding energy, packing fraction, Nuclear forces: meson exchange theory. Nuclear models (elementary idea), magic numbers;fission, fusion and spallation,Bohr’s compound nucleus theory of nuclear reaction. Szilard-Chalmers reactions.

 Radio chemical methods: principles of determination of age of rocks and minerals, radio carbon dating principles, Isotope dilution and neutron activation analysis.

 NuclearReactors: Classification of reactors, reactor power, nuclear waste Management, Hazards of    radiation and safety measures.










Inorganic Chemistry


5) Main group elements and their compounds: Allotropy, synthesis, structure and bonding, industrial importance of the compounds.


s – Block Elements:

General trends in Physical and Chemical properties of the Elements and their important

classes of Compounds. Lithium and Beryllium: Anomalous behaviour and diagonal relationship. Hydrides: Classification and general properties. Noble gases, Clathrates: Types, preparation and stability. Fluorides and Oxides of Xenon: Preparation, properties, structure and bonding (VB and MO treatment.

p – Block Elements:

Comparative study (including diagonal relationship and anomalous behaviour) of groups

(13 -17).Boron Hydrides: Introduction, Nomenclature, Preparation, Properties, Structure and

bonding in diborane, borazine : structure, bonding and reactions, Carbides. Nitrogen Compounds: Hydrazine, Hydroxylamine, Oxides and Oxyacids of nitrogen (Properties, Structure-bonding & Uses).Oxygen fluorides, Oxides and Oxyacids of Sulphur (Properties, Structure-bonding) Halogens: General properties, Interhalogens; Polyhalides and Pseudohalogens, Structure -bonding(SN)x with x = 2, 4; phosphazines; Structure of borates, silicates, polyphosphates, borazole, boron nitride, silicones.

6) Inner transition elements: spectral and magnetic properties, redox chemistry, analytical applications.


Chemistry of Lanthanide and Actinide Elements

Lanthanoids: Electronic structure, oxidation states, Magnetic properties & Complexing behaviour. Ionic radii and Lanthanide contraction:Cause and Consequences of lanthanide Contraction Separation of lanthanoids: Ion-exchange methods;occurrence and isolation, lanthanide compounds.

Actinoids:Introduction, Electronic configuration, Oxidation states, Magnetic properties & Comparison with lanthanoids.


Inorganic Chemistry


7) Transition elements and coordination compounds: structure, bonding theories, spectral and magnetic properties, reaction mechanisms.

Chemistry of Elements of First Transition Series

Characteristic properties of d-block elements. Properties of the elements of the first transition series, their binary compounds and complexes illustrating relative stability of their oxidation states, coordination number and geometry. Chemistry of Elements of Second and Third Transition Series

General characteristics, comparative treatment with their 3d-analogues in respect of ionic radii, oxidation states, magnetic behaviour spectral properties and stereochemistry.

Metal-ligand Bonding in Transition Metal Complexes Limitations of valence bond theory, an elementary idea of crystal-field theory, crystal field splitting in octahedral, tetrahedral and square planar complexes, CFSE for d1 to d10 systems, pairing energy, low-spin and high-spin complexes and magnetic properties; LFT, and molecular orbital (MO) theory of selected octahedral and tetrahedral complexes; Factors affecting the crystal-field parameters , Jahn-Teller distortions; experimental evidence for metal-ligand orbital overlap; ligand, JT-distorted octahedral, square planar, square pyramidal, trigonal bipyramidal, and tetrahedral complexes;  Magnetic Properties of Transition Metal Complexes Types of magnetic behaviour, methods of determining magnetic susceptibility, spin-only formula. L-S coupling, correlation of μs and μeff values, orbital contribution to magnetic moments, quenching of magnetic moment: super exchange and antiferromagnetic interactions (elementary idea with examples only), application of magnetic moment data for 3d-metal complexes.

Electron Spectra of Transition Metal Complexes Types of electronic transitions, selection rules for d-d transitions, spectroscopic ground states, spectrochemical series. Orgel-energy level diagrams for d1 to d9 states, discussion of the electronicspectrum of complexes. colors, intensities and origin of spectra, interpretation, term symbols and splitting of terms in free atoms, selection rules for electronic transitions, Tanabe-Sugano diagram, calculation of Dq, B, C, Nephelauxetic ratio, Charge transfer spectra. Thermodynamic and Kinetic Aspects of Metal Complexes A brief outline of thermodynamic stability of metal complexes and factors affecting the stability, Irving-William series, chelate and macrocyclic effect,substitution reactions of square planar complexes, Trans Effect. Kinetics and Mechanism of Substitution Reactions: Nature of substitution reactions; prediction of reactivity of octahedral, tetrahedral and square-planar complexes in terms of crystal field activation energy and structure preference energy; rates of reactions; acid hydrolysis, base hydrolysis and anation reactions.


8) Organometallic compounds: synthesis, bonding and structure, and reactivity. Organometallics in homogeneous catalysis and Cages and metal clusters.


Organometallic Chemistry

Introduction: Historical background of organometallics,Definition, nomenclature and classification of organometallic compounds.,; structure and bonding in mono and polynuclear metal carbonyls; substituted metal carbonyls and related compounds; synthesis and reactivity of metal carbonyls; vibrational spectra of metal carbonyls; dinitrogen and dioxygen as ligands in organometallic compounds. Valence electron count (16/18 electron rules) and its applications to carbonyls (including carbonyl hydrides and carbonylates), nitrosyls, cyanides, and nature of bonding involved therein. Metal-olefin complexes: Zeises salt (preparation, structure and bonding), Ferrocene (preparation, structure and reactions). Hapticity(η) of organometallic ligands, ,Cages and metal clusters, isolobal analogy.

Organometallic in Catalysis: Substitution, oxidative addition, reductive elimination, insertion and deinsertion; Catalysis - Hydrogenation, Hydroformylation, Monsanto process, Wacker process, alkene polymerization Hydrogenation and dehydrogenation, hydroformylation, polymerisationof olefins (Ziegler-Natta catalyst), Monsanto process, Waker process.



Inorganic Chemistry


9) Analytical chemistry- separation, spectroscopic, electro- and thermoanalytical methods


Statistical tests and error analysis: Accuracy, precision, classification of errors, minimization of errors, significant figures and computation, mean deviation and standard deviation, Gaussian distribution, mean value statistics.

Qualitative Analysis:Underlying principles- Common-ion effect, Solubility product, Relation between

Solubility and Solubility product. Analysis of Inorganic Mixtures; - Group reagents, Selective precipitation of cations; Precipitation of Sulphides and metal hydroxides. Reactions involved in Separation and identification of cations and anions.

Polarography: Origin of polargraphy, Current-voltage relationship, Theory of polarographic waves (DC and sampled DC (tast) polarograms), Instrumentation, Ilkovic equation, Qualitative and quantitative applications.

 Spectroscopic Techniques: Theory, Instrumentation and applications of X-rays (emission, absorption, diffraction and fluorescence methods), Atomic absorption Spectroscopy, Atomic fluorescence spectrometry, Atomic emission spectrometry

Spectroscopy: UV-visible molecular absorption spectrometry (instrumentation and application), Molecular luminescence spectroscopy (fluorescence, phosphorescence, chemiluminescence).

Separation Methods: Principle of chromatography, Classifications of chromatography, Techniques of planar and column chromatography, Gas chromatography, High-performance liquid chromatography

Thermal Analysis: Theory, methodology and applications of thermogravimetric analysis (TGA),

Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA), and Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Principles, techniques and applications of thermometric titration methods



Inorganic Chemistry


10) Bioinorganic chemistry:

Essential and trace elements in biological processes,Metal ion transport across biological membrane,Na+-ion pump, ionophores. Biological functions of hemoglobin and myoglobin,

cytochromes and ferredoxins, carbonate bicarbonate buffering system and carbonicanhydrase. Biological nitrogen fixation, Photosynthesis: Photosystem-I and Photosystem-II. Toxic metal ions and their effects, chelation therapy (examples only), Pt and Au complexes as drugs (examples only).


 11) Characterisation of inorganic compounds by IR, Raman, NMR, EPR, Mössbauer, UV-Vis, NQR, MS, electron spectroscopy and microscopic techniques.

Structural Methods in Inorganic Chemistry

 NMR Spectroscopy: NMR phenomenon, spin ½ nuclei, (1H, 13C, 31P and 19F), 1H NMR, Zeeman splitting, effect of magnetic field strength on sensitivity and resolution, chemical shift, chemical and magnetic equivalence of spins, spin-spin coupling, structural correlation to coupling constant J, first order patterns. Second order effects, examples of AB, AX and ABX systems, simplification of second order spectrum, selective decoupling, use of chemical shift reagents for stereochemical assignments. 13C NMR, introduction to FT technique, relaxation phenomena, NOE effects, 1H and 13C chemical shifts to structure correlations. Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy: Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy of inorganic compounds with unpaired electrons - determination of electronic structure, Zeeman splitting, g-values, hyperfine and super hyperfine coupling constants, practical considerations of measurements, and instrumentation. Mössbauer Spectroscopy: Basic principle, conditions for Mossbauer spectroscopy, Spectral parameters (Isomer shift, electric quadrupole interactions, magnetic interactions), temperature dependent effects, structural deductions for iron and tin complexes, miscellaneous applications.Infrared and Raman Spectroscopy: Infrared and Raman spectroscopy of simple inorganic molecules, predicting number of active modes of vibrations, analysis of representative spectra of metal complexes with various functional groups at the coordination sites; application of isotopic substitution, organic functional group identification through IR spectroscopy. Mass Spectrometry: Mass spectrometry, basic principles, ionization techniques, isotope abundance, molecular ion, fragmentation processes of organic molecules, deduction of structure through mass spectral fragmentation, high resolution MS, soft ionization methods, ESI-MS and MALDI-MS, illustrative examples from macromolecules and supramolecules, studies of inorganic/coordination and organometallic representative compounds.


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