15 Best Inorganic Chemistry Books for Undergraduates

Inorganic chemistry deals with the chemical properties and reactions of all non-organic compounds, including metals, minerals, and organometallic compounds.

These compounds find widespread use in the form of catalysts, pigments, surfactants, fuels, coatings, medicines, and much more.

The field of inorganic chemistry overlaps with various other disciplines such as organic chemistry, physical chemistry, biology, agriculture, geology, etc.

After pursuing a degree in inorganic chemistry, you can seek employment in various places such as educational institutes, research labs, metallurgical firms, hospitals, and so on. For undergraduates pursuing inorganic chemistry, it is necessary to study from a standard book and develop a sound understanding of the concepts from the beginning.

In this article, I have listed the fifteen best inorganic chemistry books presently available for undergraduates in the market.

Also see: Best Organic Chemistry Books for Undergraduates

Best Inorganic Chemistry Books for Undergraduates

best inorganic chemistry books banner

Let us now go through my choices for the fifteen best inorganic chemistry books for undergraduates available currently.

1. Inorganic Chemistry

Author – Catherine E. Housecroft and Alan G. Sharpe

The fifth edition of Housecroft and Sharpe’s renowned Inorganic Chemistry provides a clear, engaging introduction to essential physical-inorganic principles. It discusses the chemistry of the elements and the significance of inorganic chemistry in our daily lives.

It has been updated with the latest research. It includes content related to the extended periodic table and new approaches to estimating lattice energies and bonding classifications of organometallic compounds.

The authors use a meticulously developed pedagogical approach to guide the student through the concepts and apply them within the real world. The book includes thematic boxed sections focusing on medicine, biology, environmental science, and more. It also features a variety of in-text self-study exercises, including solved examples, thought-provoking questions, and end-of-chapter problems.

The book is well-known for its splendid diagrams that have been added to properly illustrate molecular and protein structures. They help students develop a genuine interest in inorganic chemistry and appreciate the subject's beauty.

2. Inorganic Chemistry, Seventh Edition

Author – Mark Weller, Tina Overton, and Jonathan Rourke

Inorganic Chemistry, Seventh Edition covers everything from the basic principles of inorganic chemistry to the latest research at the forefront of the subject. It is widely considered an ideal course companion for the duration of an undergraduate degree. While maintaining the clear writing style and layout of the previous editions, the new edition adds an enhanced section on “expanding our horizons” and the applications of green chemistry.

It also lays much more emphasis on learning features, including significant updates to the additional self-tests, problem-solving questions, and walkthrough explanations that enable students to assess their understanding of important concepts and develop problem-solving skills. The text is elegantly laid out and effectively utilizes a wide range of quality pedagogical features. It provides everything a student needs to develop a firm grasp on the subject.

3. Inorganic Chemistry

Author – Gary L. Miessler, Paul Fischer, and Donald Tarr

The fifth edition of Inorganic Chemistry is more readable and educational than ever, with significant updates to swiftly changing content areas, a superior visual presentation, and the addition of a qualified co-author Paul Fischer. The book delivers all the essentials of inorganic chemistry at just the right level for undergraduate courses – neither too high (for students who are just getting started) nor too low (for experienced readers).

The book provides detailed coverage of the atomic theory and emphasizes physical chemistry to help the student develop a firm understanding of the theoretical basis of inorganic chemistry. Similarly, it offers a reorganized presentation of the molecular orbital and group theory to explain fundamental principles more efficiently.

4. Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry

Author – Gary Wulfsberg and Laurel Muller

Foundations of Inorganic Chemistry has been specifically written for a one-semester standalone course. However, it can also be effectively used in a full-year inorganic sequence. It covers nearly every topic asked in examinations and prepares students for definite success.

The authors have combined clear writing, meticulous pedagogy, solved examples, and stunningly rendered two-color art with a wide range of original exercises at the end of each chapter. They have neatly broken down a large amount of information into easily understandable reactivity patterns and trends. It is much better than the usual element-by-element approach taken by other textbooks.

The only potential downside of the book is that it assumes a reasonably strong background in general chemistry and enrolment in a Foundations of Organic Chemistry course as well. Nevertheless, it reviews all core concepts satisfactorily and serves as an excellent transition from general chemistry to higher courses.

5. Essentials of Inorganic Chemistry

Author – D. M. P. Mingos

Beginners often find the terminology of inorganic chemistry confusing and the fundamental concepts tough to summarize. Fortunately, D. M. P. Mingos’ Essentials of Inorganic Chemistry rectifies this issue successfully. It provides an alphabetical listing of basic concepts that a student will encounter after enrolling in the first-year undergraduate inorganic chemistry.

Every chapter in the book has been written in an accessible and student-friendly style. As a result, you will find much more details in this rich text than in most other current chemistry dictionaries. The author has also included several helpful illustrations to make the learning process more engaging. Also, he has ensured that the content doesn’t rely too heavily on mathematics.

Whether you are hoping to look up unfamiliar topics or to revise specific topics for examinations, Essentials of Inorganic Chemistry will serve your needs very well.

6. Inorganic Chemistry: A Unified Approach

Author – William W. Porterfield

William Porterfield’s Inorganic Chemistry: A Unified Approach is one of the few books available in the market that presents inorganic chemistry at the advanced undergraduate level using unifying theoretical concepts. While most textbooks on inorganic chemistry are based around the periodic table, this book is structured after structure types, reaction patterns, and bonding models.

Most importantly, this book offers a crystal clear presentation of generous background description, especially in important areas of latest development such as industrial catalysis, bioinorganic chemistry, and cluster molecules. After reading the text, students will understand most contemporary journals and stay updated regarding the latest advances in inorganic chemistry.

The second edition of Inorganic Chemistry: A Unified Approach includes new chapters on materials-science applications, transition-metal applications, extended Tanabe-Sugano diagrams, and bioinorganic chemistry. It also discusses unusual structures and species such as metallacarboranes, electrides, silatranes, and more.

7. Structural Methods in Inorganic Chemistry

Author – E. A. V. Ebsworth, David W. H. Rankin, and Stephen Cradock

The fully revised and updated second edition of Structural Methods in Inorganic Chemistry has been designed to help readers interpret experimental data, understand the content of inorganic chemistry journals, and learn to choose appropriate techniques for solving particular structural problems. The book covers a wide range of topics such as rotational and vibrational spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy and the time scales, advantages, and disadvantages of physical methods.

Several new problems are included throughout the book. Some involve numerical, while others involve interpretations of data or logical analysis. The book provides answers to odd-numbered problems, while course instructors are given access to solutions and comments on the even-numbered problems. It also includes a series of worked examples to supplement the case histories and highlight the application of the specific techniques to real chemical problems.

8. Inorganic Chemistry: Reactions, Structures and Mechanisms

Author – Bridget Kent

Today, inorganic chemistry holds great importance in various fields such as agriculture, material science, medicine, coating, chemical manufacturing, and much more. Bridget Kent’s Inorganic Chemistry: Reactions, Structures and Mechanisms describes new applications and techniques of inorganic chemistry in a multidisciplinary manner. It covers a wide range of topics, some of which address the varied aspects of reactions, structures, and mechanisms that fall under the domain of inorganic chemistry.

The author has used appropriate examples and case studies to help the readers understand even the most challenging concepts of inorganic chemistry in the easiest possible manner.

9. Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry

Author – James E. House and Kathleen A. House

The second edition of Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry covers the synthesis, properties, and reactions of elements and inorganic compounds. It comes with additional coverage of chemical bonding and Buckminster fullerenes and also features new industrial applications related to important topics in the text. It is a great choice for both the one-semester (ACS-recommended) course and as a supplement to general chemistry courses. The book includes visually dazzling diagrams and graphs to hold the reader’s interest and make the learning process much more exciting.

10. Inorganic Chemistry, Third Edition

Author – Duward Shriver and Peter Atkins

If you are pursuing a degree in inorganic chemistry, then it is important for you to learn in detail about the chemical properties and reactions of various inorganic compounds and elements. This excellent book by Shriver and Atkins is aimed at both undergraduate and graduate students. It provides scientifically verified and factual information and core principles within the context of periodic trends and broad chemical concepts.

11. Principles of Inorganic Chemistry

Author – Dennis Close

Dennis Close’s Principles of Inorganic Chemistry is a rich compilation of topics ranging from the fundamental to the most complex theories and concepts in the field of inorganic chemistry. It makes a noble endeavor to connect and explain the multitude of branches that fall under this discipline, along with their practical applications. It is an excellent resource guide for both students and experts on the subject.

12. Inorganic Chemistry for Dummies

Author – Michael Matson and Alvin W. Orbaek 

Inorganic Chemistry for Dummies is undoubtedly the most approachable and concise guide to inorganic chemistry available in the market. The book offers a detailed introduction to the study of the synthesis and behavior of inorganic and organometallic compounds. It covers all the topics you will encounter in a typical inorganic chemistry course and presents the theory in an engaging and straightforward manner. It also includes solved problems to improve your understanding of important theories and concepts of the subject.

13. Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

Author – Bridget Kent

As a student of chemistry, you can certainly appreciate how diverse each branch of the subject is. Bridget Kent’s Advanced Inorganic Chemistry presents the complicated discipline of inorganic chemistry in the most comprehensive and easy-to-understand language possible. It covers a wide range of topics and also discusses several contemporary achievements in the field. The author has made an effort to ensure that the readers leave with a deep understanding and appreciation of the subject.

14. Inorganic Chemistry: A Modern Introduction

Author – Therald Moeller

Like its title suggests, this book presents the field of inorganic chemistry as a logical development of fundamental ideas, incorporating important early contributions, verified data, and the resulting modern ideas involving the significance and scope of inorganic chemistry. The text moves from the origins of elements through atomic structure, molecular structure, bonding, and reactions considered by conditions, mechanisms, and types.

15. Instant Notes in Inorganic Chemistry

Author – Tony Cox

The second edition of Instant Notes in Inorganic Chemistry includes new material on noble gas synthesis and chemistry developments and characterization and reactions of inorganic compounds. Additional chapters cover the classification of inorganic reaction types, techniques for characterizing compounds, and the factors involved in selecting solvents for synthetic reactions. If you’re looking for concise coverage of inorganic chemistry at an undergraduate level, then look no further than this book.


The above list features the choicest books that an undergraduate student requires to successfully pursue their inorganic chemistry course. I hope it helps you choose an excellent book and come out with flying colors in your career.

Last update on 2024-07-18 using Amazon Product Advertising API.

About Gaurav Tiwari

Gaurav Tiwari is a blogger, influencer and designer with expertise in brand regeneration and growth hacking. He is the co-founder of Gatilab, a successful digital agency focused on content and design.