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Book Review Activated Metals in Organic Synthesis. By P. Cintas

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10 000 cm ), which was previously
rather neglected, has become readily accessible and is of interest to many analytical laboratories. This FT-NIR Atlas is the
tirst volume in a series of “SpecBooks”
which are planned to cover all the most
important spectroscopic methods. It contains the first ever collection of digital
NIR spectra. Unlike the many conventional spectra atlases that have a long tradition based on “analog” spectra, the FTNIR A t l r s is a “hard copy” which has
been generated. largely automatically,
from a digital data bank to produce a collection of NIR spectra of 1957 compounds.
The arrangement of this spectra collection is similar to that in the Merck FT-IR
A r l r s . For each substance two spectra are
shown separately, covering the ranges
38OO-72OO c m - ’ (NIR I, on a scale
of about 250cm-’ per cm) and
630O-- 10500 c n - ’ (NIR 11. on a scale of
about 675 cni- per cm), which results in
a very clear presentation. Alongside each
spectrum arc listed up to seven of the
strongest peaks, which considerably simplifies making comparisons with experimentally observed spectra. Each compound is identified by its structural
formula. systematic name, and molecular
formula. The CAS Registry number,
manufacturer’s catalog number. and
physical properties such as molar mass,
density, melting point, etc. are also listed.
In cases where the compound was not
available in a suffkiently pure form for
recording a true spectrum, the exact composition of the mixture is given in an appendix. The selection of the 1957 compounds included is. of course. arbitrary;
however. as it is based on collecting together compounds from current catalogs
of chemicals this ensures that it includes
many of the compounds most commonly
found in laboratories.
The volume is very well produced, and
even tine details of the spectra are clearly
discernible. The introduction gives a short
and succinct account of the experimental
and theoretical background. Separate indexes according to molecular formula,
compound name. and CAS Registry number are provided. However, many users
will have difficulties in locating compounds b! name; for example, triphenylmethane is listed as “Benzene,
1.1’.1”-methylidynetris-”. Here it would
definitely have been sensible to also include common trivial names in the index.
A further criticism concerns the structural
formulas; these are shown without the hydrogen atoms. a convention which takes a
little getting used to.
Despite thc fact that this presentation
i n book form is in competition with the
electronic data bank, with all the latter’s
advantages, it will certainly find an established place in spectroscopic and analytical laboratories. Its advantages are that
the spectra are simply within arm’s reach.
without the bother of a flickering VDU
screen, and several spectra can be directly
compared. The only obstacle to its becoming widely available will be the present
impoverished state of many university
Wolfiam Sander
Organische Chemie IT
der Universitiit Bochum (Germany)
Activated Metals in Organic Synthesis. By P. Cintas. CRC Press, Boca
Raton, USA, 1993.236 pp., hardcover $ 59.95.-ISBN 0-8493-7863-X
This book describes in detail the applications of activated metals in organic and
organometallic chemistry. The first part
(Chapters 1-3) covers metal vaporization
methods, a number of other metal activation methods (such as the Rieke, metalanthracene, and ultrasonic methods), and
the use of metal-graphite compounds.
Each method is discussed in considerable
detail, clearly explaining its advantages
and disadvantages. The most important
reactions are collected together in equation form, and the experimental details of
the most useful activation methods are
described clearly and concisely (including.
for example, the preparation of Rieke
zinc, of iodine-activated magnesium, and
of activated nickel from nickel diisopropoxides).
The second part (Chapters 4-8) is concerned with the use of activated metals in
organic synthesis. Many examples are
given together with references to recent
work (150-200 literature citations per
chapter), providing an important and
valuable resource for the preparative organic chemist and for everyone who uses
metals in synthesis. Chapter 4 describes
the use of activated metals in reductions.
Chapter 5 then deals with reductive couplings of carbonyl compounds. giving a
very good review which ranges from the
classical pinacol coupling to the McMurry coupling. Additions to carbonyl conipounds are described in Chapter 6. treating the Barbier reaction (in which the
reactive organometallic species is generated in the presence of the electrophile) and
reactions of the Reformatsky type in separate sections. However, this classification
is not followed consistently, as the section
on the Barbier reaction also includes twostage organometallic reactions. The treat-
ment of the important reactions is very
good. with clearly set out equations to
give the reader a sound grasp of the principles. The discussion of the Reformatsky
reaction is especially detailed (including
the structures of the reagents, the role of
zinc activation, the extcnsion to other
metals, and the stereoselectivity of the reaction). Chapter 7 is devoted to cyclizations, in which activated metals offer an
important means of generating reactive
intermediates (e.g. Simmons- Smith reactions and metal-initiated free radical cyclizations). The final chapter describes
zinc-mediated ringopening reactions of
sugar derivatives and applications to the
stereoselective synthesis of chiral acyclic
polyhydroxy building blocks.
To summarize, the book gives a good
overview of synthetic applications of activated metals, which is an important area
of modern organic chemistry. It makes
easy reading, is very detailed, and is suitable for post-graduate and advanced
chemistry students, as well as for industrial chemists involved in research and development. It should be available in every
university library.
Piiul Knocliel
Fachbereich Chemie
der Universitat Marburg (Germany)
Cluster Chemistry. By G. GonzirlezMorega. Springer, Heidelberg, 1993.
302 pp., paperback DM 98.00.ISBN 3-540-56470-5
Cluster Cliemistr~ by G. GonzilezMorega was announced as “the first
(book) to be appropriate for disseminating and especially for teaching this contemporary topic.” Notwithstanding an
ever growing number of monographs covering various aspects of this field of science, there is indeed a need for a textbook
which can form the basis of an advanced
undergraduate or graduate course and,
most of all, lead the “novice” who is familiar with the basic principles on to the
more advanced topics.
The introductory section (Ch. 1 ) on
“Current Concepts in Modern Chemistry” is concerned with the fundamental
aspects of the theory of atomic structure
and chemical bonding as may be found in
most textbooks on general and/or inorganic chemistry. The following chapter on
“Transition Metal Cluster Chemistry” is
the first major section dealing with the
topic of the book. Beginning with a discussion on the classification of clusters
(naked/ligated, high valence/low valence)
and the principal types of ligands, a sur-
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