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Book Review Handbook of Enantioselective Catalysis with Transition Metal Compounds. Vol. I Products and Catalysts Vol. II Ligands-References. By H. Brunner and W

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Primed for Success
Handbook of Enantioselective Catalysis with Transition Metal Compounds.
Vol. I: Products and Catalysts,
Vol. 11: Ligands-References. By H.
Brunner and W Zettlmeier. VCH
Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim/VCH
Publishers, New York, 1993. 917 pp.,
hardcover DM 598.00.-ISBN 3-52729068-0;1-56081-81 1-5
Of the many new specialist books on
chemistry that continue to appear, it is
rare to find one that gives an immediate
impression of being an indispensable addition to the chemical literature. This twovolume handbook on enantioselective
catalysis by Brunner and Zettlmeier is undoubtedly one of these exceptions, in
which the authors have succeeded well in
their aim of bringing some order to the
jungle of chiral metal catalysts and their
reactions. The work excels through being
very up-to-date, through the careful collecting together of the vast amount of
data (covering about 13 000 reactions and
2000 ligands) and the comprehensiveness
thereby achieved. and through the wealth
of inforination that one can extract from
the concisely arranged collection.
The two volumes make up an inseparable whole. Volume I covers reactions with
chiral mctal catalysts, while Volume I1
contains a comprehensive list of all the
chiral ligands known up to about 1992.
Each hgand has been assigned a number,
so that in Volume I each catalyst can be
described concisely by a combination of
the metal with the ligand number.
The reactions in Volume I are arranged
according to the molecular formula of the
product. This is followed by the full reaction equation. in which as much information a s possible has been given within a
This section contains book reviews and a list of
new hook5 received by the editor. Book review are
written h) invitation from the editor. Suggestions
for books to bc reviewed and for book reviewers
Puhliahers should send brochures oI
are ~~elc(iiiir.
(bcttei) books to Di-. Ralf Baumann, Redaktion
Angewandtc Chemie, Postfach 101161, D-69451
Weinheiiii. l-cdcr;il Republic of Germany. The editor resencs the right of selecting which books will
be raiewsd. Uninvited books not chosen for
rcvisu will not bc rcturncd.
small space. The product formulas highlight the chiral centers at which chirality
has been introduced through the action of
the catalyst. This is especially useful in
cases where the educt already contains
one or more chiral centers which are not
configurationally stable under the reaction conditions. Alongside the reaction
arrow are shown the absolute configuration of the product and the maximum optical yield achieved with the first-named
catalyst in the next column. Other catalysts that have been used for the same reaction but gave lower yields are also listed. For each reaction and each ligand all
the relevant literature references are listed
in Volume I1 in order of the year of publication. an unusual and helpful arrangement which allows one to quickly find the
most recent publications.
The only criticism of this excellent
handbook is that one could propose improvements that would allow even more
efficient ways of retrieving the information. Firstly, in Volume I1 the list of ligands does not tell one where to look in
Volume I to find reactions in which particular ligands are used. Secondly, since the
reactions in Volume I are arranged according to the molecular formula of the
product rather than according to reaction
type, it would be useful to have an additional index listing the reactions contained in Volume I according to reaction
types (e.g. hydrogenations, cyclopropanations, etc.) . However, to have included
these improvements would certainly have
increased the size of the handbook beyond that which was intended, and although they would provide extra convenience for the user they would add
nothing to the information content of the
Nevertheless, in view of the continuing
exponential growth in the numbers of
metal catalysts and of their reactions, the
authors should be encouraged to eventually produce a version in the form of a
computerized data bank with all the
searching algorithms that might conceivably be useful.
To sum up. this data collection will be
indispensable for every chemist who is
concerned with chiral molecules. Since it
is reasonably priced I feel justified in rec-
ommending not only that every departmental library should buy the book. but
also that individual research laboratories
should have their own copies.
Oliver Reiser
Institut fur Organische Chemie
der Universitat Gottingen (FRG)
Chemical Bonding. By M . J. Winter.
90 pp., ISBN 0-19-855694-2.-0rganometallics 1. Complexes with
Transition Metal- Carbon a-Bonds.
By M . Bochmunn. 91 pp., ISBN 0-19855751-5.-0rganometallics 2. Complexes with Transition Metal-Carbon
rc-Bonds. By M . Bochmunn. 89pp.,
ISBN 0 - 19- 855813- 9.-Bifunctional
Compounds. By R. S. Wurd. 90 pp..
ISBN 0-19-855808-2.-A11 in the series Oxford Chemistry Primers. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994.
Paperbacks, E 4.99 each.
The Oxjbrd Chemistry Primers series, in
which 24 titles have appeared up to now,
aims to provide chemistry students with
simple and quick introductions to specific
areas of organic and inorganic chemistry.
Each volume of about 90 pages contains
material that would be covered in eight to
ten course lectures. The emphasis on explanations and reasoning rather than on
learning facts is intended to equip the student with the basic principles for understanding an area of study.
Chen?icd Bonding is intended for those
just starting their studies. It begins with a
brief historical outline in which the atomic
orbital model and the Periodic System are
developed very lucidly and with little
mathematics. This is followed by chapters
dealing with the bonding between two
atoms. In Chapters 2, after a short section
on the Lewis concepts of the nature of
bonding, the author introduces the principle of a linear combination of atomic
orbitals, with the help ofmolecular orbital
energy level schemes and orbital diagrams. Chapter 3 is concerned with the
VSEPR model, then in the final chapter
the extension of the molecular orbital approach to polyatomic molecules is discussed. The excellent illustrations provid-
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compounds, handbook, references, enantioselectivity, transitional, brunner, ligand, book, metali, catalysing, product, vol, review, catalyst
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