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Book Review Mechanisms of Photophysical Processes and Photochemical Reactions in Polymers. By J. F. Rabek

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tains a list of those compounds and syntheses for which
more detailed experimental information can be found in
other compilations (e.g., “Organic Syntheses”). However,
it would have been more sensible to incorporate this information into the appropriate earlier chapters.
The question is, who are the readers most likely to benefit from this comparatively inexpensive little book? It is
true that, in thumbing through the book, one picks up the
occasional stimulus or new idea, but beginners will certainly gain a better understanding from the older monographs. On the other hand, those already experienced in
this field will already have their own compilations of experimental methods, and therefore the main feature of this
series-the more or less detailed descriptions of syntheses-will scarcely be a useful additional resource for
this group either. An element-oriented methods collection
of this type is really of little help in searching out the best
method for a problem in synthesis. “Best Synthetic Procedures’’ would perhaps be a less misleading title for the
whole series.
Hans- Ulrich Reissig [N B 9 18 I EJ
Institut fur Organische Chemie
der Technischen Hochschule Darmstadt (FRG)
Mechanisms of Photophysical Processes and Photochemical
Reactions in Polymers. By J. F. Rabek. Wiley, Chichester
1987. xix, 756 pp., bound, 2 99.00.--ISBN 0-471-91180-1
In a total of 750 pages this book covers the most important findings of photochemistry and photophysics in polymer systems up to 1984 inclusive, and according to its
author it is suitable both for polymer scientists and for advanced students who have some familiarity with or interest
in this field.
The contents are arranged systematically, beginning
with an introductory summary of the most important basic
facts and concepts of photophysics, followed by an account of the relationships that are specific to energy transfer and excimer and/or exciplex formation in polymers,
and of luminescence methods in polymer analysis. The remaining three-quarters of the book deals, with various aspects of photochemistry in relation to polymers, together
with a brief section on photochromic polymers. The individual topics covered are photoinitiation and photopolymerization (ca. 185 pages), polymer photodegradation and
light stabilizers for polymers (ca. 170 pages), and the more
applications-orientated topics of photoresists, photopolymer-coated printing plates, and the use of polymers in
solar energy utilization (altogether ca. 90 pages).
Those chapters that deal with photochemical topics,
making up more than half of the book, give an excellent
up-to-date survey of current knowledge in this field. All
the chapters and sections that are concerned more with
photophysical aspects are, in comparison, too brief to
cover these topics adequately, and consequently do not really justify the book‘s title; here, and also in the treatment
of photochromicity, the importance of some of the key research contributions is not sufficiently brought out, and in
some cases they are not referred to at all, or are cited incorrectly.
The book assumes that the reader has, in addition to a
sound basic knowledge of the chemistry and physics of polymers, a grounding in the essentials of photochemistry
and photophysics, and it is consequently not really suitable
for those without a minimum of previous knowledge.
Taken as a whole, however, the book is to be recommended, especially for the wealth of literature references
which it contains, and for the generally good treatment of
this field of importance to polymer science and technology.
Claus D.Eisenbach, Karl Fischer [NB 919 IE]
Institut fur Makromolekulare Chemie
der Universitat Bayreuth (FRG)
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polymer, photophysical, book, reaction, mechanism, processes, review, rabe, photochemical
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