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Book Review Houben-Weyl Methoden der Organischen Chemie. Vol. XIII9a Organometallverbindungen von Mn Re Fe Ru Os und Pt. Vol

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denn ihr Gekocht ...”-i.e. he complained the books were
so full of meaningless squiggles and obfuscations that if
they were stewed u p and fed to the pigs the latter would
leave them alone and go on eating filth. The present reviewer cannot express his disappointment in language of
such baroque eloquence, but must instead sum up his verdict on these two volumes in just one short sad phrase:
What a shame!
Helmut Bonnemann [NB 842 IE]
Max-Planck-Institut fur Kohlenforschung,
Miilheim/R. (FRG)
Houben-Weyl : Methoden der Organischen Chemie. Vol.
XIII/9a: Organometallverbindungen von Mn, Re, Fe, Ru,
0 s und Pt. Thieme, Stuttgart 1986. Approx. 1000 pp.,
bound, DM 1100.--ISBN 3-13-214804-0; Vol. XIII/9b:
Organometallverbindungen von Co, Rh, Ir, Ni und Pd.
1984. Iviii, 1057 pp., bound, D M 1190.--ISBN 3-132 15004-5
In Volumes XIII/9a and XIII/9b, and Volumes X I W 4
and XIII/7 which were published a short time earlier,
“Houben-Weyl” steps into new territory, thereby earning
praise and respect. Twenty years ago, organometallic compounds of transition metals still belonged in the curiosities
cabinet for most preparative organic chemists, but their
outlook has since changed (even if hesitantly for some),
and now to an ever increasing extent one reads of new syntheses being carried out using transition metals. One need
not be much of a prophet to forecast that this trend will
Volume XII1/9a is devoted to preparations and transformations of organomanganese, -rhenium, -iron, -ruthenium, -osmium and -platinum compounds containing at
least one M-C o-bond (insofar as these reactions are of
interest to organic chemists), while Volume XIII/9b deals
in a similar way with organometallic compounds of the cobalt series (Co, Rh, Ir) together with nickel and palladium.
In both volumes the compounds are arranged under individual metals, first in order of increasing oxidation state of
the metal atom, then further divided within these groups
according to classes of substances, i.e. organometallic alkyls, ylides, 1 -alkenyls, aryls, acyls, alkoxycarbonyls, and
aminocarbonyls. The next method of classification is by
method of preparation. The foremost of these is the principle of “double substitution” (e.g. in metal halides using
Grignard reagents or organolithium compounds). After
this n-o transformations (e.g. of allyl-metal complexes),
and methods of synthesis starting from other organometallic transition metal compounds are discussed. Each chapter includes information on the relative importance of the
compounds discussed, their properties and relative stabilities, and the transformations which they can undergo. An
additional noteworthy feature is the inclusion in Volume
XIII/9b of information about the importance of intermediates containing Co-C, Rh-C and Pd-C o-bonds in
large-scale processes such as hydroformylation, the Monsanto acetic acid process, and the Wacker process. Potential applications to synthesizing natural products, e.g. by
the use of organopalladium complexes, are also mentioned.
Apart from the use of some rather idiosyncratic expressions, which even most organometallic chemists will fail to
understand (e.g. “o-C-carbene rearrangement”), there is
little to find fault with in these two volumes. The usual
high standard of the Houben-Weyl series has been maintained, which is saying a great deal with regard to quality.
Angew. Chem In1
Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. I1
The individual chapters are illustrated throughout with
very good structural formulas, enabling the reader to
quickly grasp the significance of the results given. The bibliography is remarkably up-to-date for a work of this scale
(complete u p to 1985 in some cases), indicating a very
good degree of collaboration between authors and publisher.
It is difficult to understand why Volume XII1/9a includes platinum organometallic compounds. In spite of all
attempts at rearranging the Periodic Table, platinum still
remains in the nickel triad of elements, and the platinum
compounds ought, therefore, to have been in Volume
XIII/9b. It is true that this volume would then have been
somewhat thicker than the first one, but that ought not to
worry anyone. In any case, the cost of both volumes isunfortunately-such that only libraries will be able to afford them, and nowadays they are surely groaning not only
under the weight of thick volumes, but also under financial
burdens such as this. One can only hope that, despite these
difficulties, “Houben-Weyl” will maintain its high standards, and will continue to bring about a closer liaison between organometallic chemists of organic and inorganic
Helmut Werner [NB 835 IE]
Institut fur Anorganische Chemie
der Universitat Wurzburg (FRG)
Structural Methods in Inorganic Chemistry. By E. A . V. Ebsworth, D. W . H . Rankin and S . Cradock. Blackwell
Scientific Publications, Oxford 1987. xi, 456 pp., hardback, E 13.50.--ISBN 0-632-01603-5
The authors have written this book with the aim of familiarizing advanced chemistry students in a selective way
with the most important physical methods of structure investigation used in inorganic chemistry. An important part
of this task is to enable the student to apply the most appropriate combination of techniques to a given structural
problem. On the whole the authors fulfill this need, but
shortcomings are apparent in some matters of detail.
Following an introductory chapter, which includes a
nine page table reviewing the various physical methods,
with notes o n their use, the methods themselves are treated
in eight chapters as follows: nuclear magnetic resonance
spectroscopy, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, nuclear quadrupole resonance spectroscopy, rotational and
vibrational spectroscopy, electronic spectroscopy and photoelectron spectroscopy, Mossbauer spectroscopy, diffraction methods, and mass spectrometry. A good balance is
maintained in the importance accorded to the various
methods ; thus N M R and vibrational spectroscopies are
treated in considerable detail, and mass spectrometry only
briefly. It is notable, however, that there is no chapter on
magnetochemistry. For each of the techniques covered
there is a theoretical introduction; the impression is given
in each case that this treatment is sufficient for understanding and using the technique, even though the preface
certainly does not make such a claim. Anyone who has little previous knowledge of a technique will discover the
limitations of the treatment as soon as he begins to apply
what he has read. Thus, for example, in the chapter on vibrational spectroscopy the degeneracy of a vibrational
mode is mentioned but not explained, and symmetry operations are treated in a very labored fashion. Again, in the
section on diffraction methods, although one is told of the
importance of determining the correct space group, the details of this are nowhere explained; reflection planes and
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