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Book Review IronЦCerbene Complexes. (Series Scripts in Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry Vol. 1.) Edited by W

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but also by an abstract number in Cheniical Abstracts or Ref: Zh. Khim. Also included in this part of the volume is a key
to abbreviations for solvents and functional groups and a glossary containing
structural diagrams for some of the more
complex organic substrates and products.
Perhaps one of the greatest weaknesses of
this type of tabular presentation is the
constant need to move back and forth between the main table and the supporting
glossaries. This is particularly relevant
since many of the abbreviations are nonstandard (for example, c stands for chloroform), and for complex structures it is
necessary to constantly refer to a glossary
for structures which are identified only by
numbers in the main table. However, this
tabulation is a commendable feat and
many will find this section of the book by
far the most useful.
The treatment of hydrosilylation in the
first six chapters is largely by detailed examples, and consequently it would not be
a good introduction for the novice and
should not be used as a textbook. However. the wealth of information which is
presented in this volume should be of
tremendous value to the practitioner of
the hydrosilylation reaction. whether it be
in an industrial or academic setting. As
such, this book is an indispensable reference source.
Mark Fink
Department of Chemistry
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA (USA)
Iron- Carbene Complexes. (Series:
Scripts in Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry, Vol. 1.) Edited
by W Petz. Springer, Heidelberg,
1993. 202pp., paperback DM 68.00.
-ISBN 3-540-56258-3
The celebrations were premature! Anyone who hoped that this new series from
the Gmelin-Institut fur Anorganische
Chemie would make it possible to build
up a “home Gmelin” at a realistic and
affordable cost will be bitterly disappointed. The initial concept, which is again
stated in the preface to the first volume of
this series. sounds very good: “...the new
Gmelin series will review selected areas of
inorganic and organometallic chemistry
in textbook style. It will provide the lecturer, the advanced student. and the research chemist with a digest of the main
features of each topic.” As the first topic
the publishers have chosen iron-carbene
and iron-vinylidene complexes in which
the iron atom also has a q5ligand (C,H,
or one of its derivatives). This is a sensible
restriction when one considers that the
systematic preparation and study of
Fischer carbene complexes has now been
going on for nearly thirty years. and it is
no longer realistic to expect the whole of
this extensive subject, with all the possibilities of central metal atom and substitution pattern. to be covered in a single
monograph. The area treated here corresponds exactly to the volume of the original Gmelin-ffundbuclz der Anorgunischen
und Mriallor~unisclien Cheniie with the
title “Organoiron Compounds B16a”,
containing about 260 pages.
To anyone familiar with the density of
data in Gmelin. the task of producing a
“digest of the main features” of this subject must seem rather like trying to write a
short summary of the national postcode
index. Practically all the shortening needed to compress the subject into 200 pages
for the new publication Iron-Carhenr
Complexes has been achieved by taking
out the formula index completely and
eliminating all the literature references
and the journal citations from the text of
the original Gmelin (although, curiously,
on the bottom line of p. 168 the last of the
references has survived the massacre of its
However, this has severely reduced the
book’s potential readership. Specialists
working on iron or other carbene complexes, after a first nibble at a topic, need
to be given direct access to the original
publications. One can perhaps envisage
the book being used as a quick reference
source for spectroscopic and X-ray structural data, but this use is greatly hindered
by the incompleteness of the numerical
data and the lack of a detailed overall index. Lecturers and students seeking a general overview of carbene complexes (or
even one confined to iron as the central
metal atom) will quickly abandon this
book, since despite the declared aim of
producing a work in “textbook style”, this
is clearly not that but a collection of data.
The few general comments included at the
beginnings of individual chapters are either too superficial or so brief that they
cannot be understood without relevant
previous knowledge.
In this connection one must also mention the many printing errors. In many
cases parentheses are either missing or too
many in number, and more seriously there
are numerous spelling mistakes and incorrect formulas, sometimes altering the
meaning. Examples are “RHC=CNCH,”
instead of RHC=NCH, (p. 32) and ‘ T p (CO)(2D)FeC=CH” instead of Cp(C0)(2D)FeC=CH (p. 5 9 , and on page 122 a
rotational barrier is given as 7712 kJ/mol
instead of 77 2 kJ/mol. The “one-protein resonances” referred to on page 104
are presumably one-proton resonances.
There are also many errors in the figures.
In Figures XI1 and XITI (p. 54) the cyclopentadienyl ligand is shown as “H,C,” instead of H,C,, and the Fp-containing sidechain of compound XXVIII on page98
has an extra carbon atom. Although errors
such as these only cause a shake of the
head, the incorrect caption “(S,S)-chiraphos” under Figure IV (p. 184), which actually shows the R,R isomer, is inexcusable. Other errors that need no further
comment are the description of the diastereomeric complexes VII and VIII (p, 27)
as “enantiomeric cations”, and the labeling of the abscissa in the figure on page 55
as “Wavenumber in nm”.
Another source of annoyance is the lack
of a glossary explaining the abbreviations
used in the book, as also are the repeated
explanations of familiar compound name
abbreviations (e.g., dppe on pages 7, 10,
47, 178. 181, and 182). and the use of the
same abbreviation for different groups
(e.g., Fp* is used to represent (C,Me,)(CO),Fe on pp. 104, 124, and 125.
(C,H,Me)(CO),Fe on pp. 117 and 123,
and (C,H,)(CO),Fe on pp. 123 and 124).
The cross-references too show little sign of
having been carefully checked. As well as
references to the wrong chapters (pp. 114,
126, 158, 167), there are others mentioning chapters that do not even exist
(pp. 152, 1 58, 197) and methods of preparation that are not given (“Method IV”
on pp. 118, 121). These and many other
errors are quite unacceptable, especially
in a book of only 202 pages.
The verdict after looking through IronCarhene Complexes, which is also to be
regarded as an initial sample for the new
series Scripts in Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry. is clear. By carrying out
some intensive work on correcting the errors, providing a formula index for
the whole work, and including all the references to original publications, the authors and the publishers would be performing a valuable service. not least to
Gerhurd Roth
Fakultat fur Chemie
der Universitit Konstanz (FRG)
Angrw. Cliem. Inl. Ed. E q I . 1994. 33, No. 18
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