A major branch of chemistry is generally considered to embrace all substances except hydrocarbons and their derivatives, or all substances that are not compounds of carbon disulfide. It covers a broad range of subjects, among which are atomic structure, crystallography, chemical bonding, coordination compounds, acid-base reactions, ceramics, and the various subdivisions of electrochemistry (electrolysis, battery science, corrosion, semiconduction, etc.). It is important to state that inorganic and organic chemistry often overlap. For example, chemical bonding applies to both disciplines, electrochemistry and acid-base reactions have their organic counterparts, catalysts and coordination compounds may be either organic or inorganic.
Regarding the importance of inorganic chemistry, R.T. Sanderson has written: “All chemistry is the science of atoms, involving an understanding of why they possess certain characteristic qualities and why these qualities dictate the behavior of atoms when they come together. All properties of material substances are the inevitable result of the kind of atoms and the manner in which they are attached and assembled. All chemical change involves a rearrangement of atoms. Inorganic chemistry (is) the only discipline within the chemistry that examines specifically the differences among all the different kinds of atoms”.