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Book Review Handbook of Liquid Crystals. By H. Kelker and R. Hatz

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BOOK R E V I E W S
Handbook of Liquid Crystals. By H . Kelker and R. Hatz.
Verlag Chemie, Weinheim 1980. xviii, 917 pages, bound,
DM 420.00.
In recent years the field of liquid crystals has undergone a
tempestuous growth, which is still by no means over. The
reasons for this particular interest in the research and technology of liquid crystals lie above all in their unique electrooptical properties. Now that liquid-crystal materials with a
large meso-phase region and suitable electro-optical parameters have been developed, liquid crystals have found a wide
field of application in electronic displays for clocks, calculators, and measuring instruments and will shortly be used in
motor vehicle instrumentation as well.
This development has been accompanied by an immense
flood of publications, too many even for the expert to take in.
In the light of this situation the present book emerges as a
valuable aid at exactly the right time. It differs from the
monographs that have appeared to date in that it deliberately
does not aim at a textbook-like introduction but attempts to
cover the field as completely as possible. The emphasis is
thus more on the general picture than on details.
One of the authors’ special concerns was to cover the literature. With its more than 8000 citations, the book is of great
informative value, particularly because the titles of the publications are also included. This part is 266 pages long and
constitutes by far the largest section of the book. The literature is practically complete up to and including 1976, and
even covers the bulk of the papers that appeared in 1977.
The following aspects have also received closer attention:
“Chemical Constitution” (Chapter 2) with a detailed (44page) Table of Mesogens, “Behavior in Magnetic and Electric Fields” (Chapter 4), “Optical Properties” (divided into
optically inactive and optically active meso-phases, Chapters
6 and 7), and finally “Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and
Electron Spin Resonance Studies” (Chapter 10, by C. Schumann). In contrast to this, Chapter 14 on “Technical Applications” is rather short (24 pages).
Even though in a rapidly advancing field it is fundamentally impossible to give a definitive picture, the two authors
have succeeded after years of research in creating a work
worthy of regard. The vast wealth of collected material arranged by subject matter in this book never fails to impress.
The clear layout greatly facilitates the use of the handbook:
at the start of each chapter its list of contents is given once
more (even the general index is preceded by a summary!). Increasingly specific subdivision leads the reader step by step
to the required specialist field, so that the book is easy to use
in spite of its extensive scope. All in all, an extremely valuable work that can be recommended without hesitation.
Gerhard Meier [NB 515 IE]
Metal Complexes in Organic Chemistry. By R. P. Houghton.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1979; 308 pages,
bound, € 7.50.
The present book gives a survey of metal complexes in organic chemistry. In Chapters 1 (general principles), 2 (effects
and applications of complex formation), 3 (metal complexes
in addition reactions), and 5 (oxidative addition and insertion) many fields of application are summarized in a synoptic arrangement. Metal-catalyzed polymerization processes
have been deliberately excluded. Aside from the comments
berow it must be borne in mind that the book was written in
656
D Verlag Chemie, GmbH, 6940 Wernherm, 1980
1978 and accordingly does not reflect the rapid development
of the field. In addition to this, the examples seem to have
been selected only from the point of view of the inorganic
chemist and the materials chemist.
In Chapter 1 there is no mention of the significance of
metals as couplers of n-systems. The wide range of ring closure reactions and H displacements by metalation is not
dealt with. In the discussion of the difficulties of separating
several effects of complex formation no mention is made of
regression analysis. Furthermore, reference should surely
have been made in the “General principles” to the different
thermodynamic conditions within and outside the complex.
In the discussion of the reaction mechanisms one would like
to see a good example of the attack on complex-bound m-systems from the metal and from outside the complex.
In the discussion of the effects and applications of complex
formation in Chapter 2 it should have been mentioned that
the stability of complexes does not always change monotonically as the properties are changed, but can also exhibit minima or maxima. To demonstrate the wide application of metal
complexes for purposes of synthesis, reference should have
been made e.g. to the diethylzinc/Cu variants for the Simmons-Smith reduction and the metathesis reaction.
These critical remarks may serve as an illustration of the
difficulties facing an author engaged in writing a book on a
rapidly developing field.
Paul Hezmbach [NB 514 IE]
Metal and Metalloid Amides. By M. F. Lappert, P. P. Power,
A. R. Sanger, and R. C. Srivastava. John Wiley & Sons,
Chichester 1980. 847 pages, bound, € 50.00.
This compact but highly informative book is the first to
present a comprehensive inventory of the field. Up to now
the number and the significance of compounds with the ligands NR’R’ (and also their oligomers and polymers) have
only been the subject of summaries in extract or synoptic
form, and complete documentation of the above amides,
which have grown tremendously in number of the last 25
years, has been long overdue.
To restrict the scope of the work to reasonable limits, compounds with macrocyclic ligands and amides of the nonmetals have been excluded from the discussion of the element
amides, whereas the data on the amides of phosphorus, silicon, and boron and on ionic amides such as M NH 5 have
been kept very concise. Three-quarters of the contents (eight
chapters) are dedicated to the synthesis, the structure, and
the physical properties of the metal amides; in the last quarter typical reactions are discussed over nine chapters. Because
of its systematization, it is precisely this section that exhibits
the advantages of a comprehensive discussion of all metal
and metalloid amides, and will prove particularly useful and
stimulating for those engaged in active research. Thus, in addition to inclusion, protolysis, reactions with hydrides, exchange, and dehydrochlorination reactions as well as Lewis
base and Lewis acid reactions, there is a discussion of applications such as polymerization catalysis.
The larger, referenee-type first part, set out mainly in the
form of tables, is divided into chapters on amides of elements
in the lst, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th main groups (except carbon),
amides of phosphorus, arsenic, antimony, and bismuth and
amides of the transition elements. The sections on amides of
elements in the 3rd and 4th main groups and on phosphorus
0570-0833/80/0808-0656
+
S 02.50/0
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 19 (1980)No. 8
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