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Book Review Molecular Electronics. Edited by G. J. Ashwell

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and analysis, to the discovery of many new naturally occurring peptide structures, and to the elucidation of a variety of
structure-activity relationships. The careful choice of subject
matter covers all the important facts and highlights. However, it seems to this reviewer that the application of genetic
engineering methods to peptide synthesis has not been treated in adequate detail. One can hardly accept that a few more
pages here would have exceeded the planned length of the
book.
In Chapter 10 one learns that research in peptide chemistry is now being carried out in 27 countries throughout the
world (the names of about 800 peptide chemists are listed,
and the appendix contains photographs and short biographical notes on about 60 of the field’s “klite”).
A comprehensive bibliography at the end of each chapter
facilitates quick access to the original publications. Other
useful information (not only for the expert) is given in a
chronological list of international symposia on peptides
(Ch. 3, Ref. 42), and in references to the standard works on
the subject.
The “Brief History of Peptide Chemistry” announced in
the book’s subtitle turns out in practice to be a valuable
monograph on the topic. This considerably broadens the
potential readership. Scientists with an interest in the history
of the subject, especially chemists, biochemists, medical scientists, pharmaceutical chemists, and students of all these
disciplines, will find here a wealth of information that could
otherwise only be gathered with a great deal of effort. Altogether this is a book that belongs in every specialist library,
and that everyone concerned will need to have read.
Hans Jeschkeit
Institut fur Organische Chemie
der Universitat Halle (FRG)
Ashwell. Research
Molecular Electronics. Edited by G. .l
Studies Press, Taunton (UK)/Wiley, Chichester, 1992. X,
362 pp., hardcover E 44.50.-1SBN 0-86380-125-O/O-47193386-4
Molecular electronics is an intriguing term, which can be
understood to include several quite different fields of research. Essentially, however, two major areas can be distinguished. Firstly there is the search for molecular materials
that can be used in electronics or microelectronics to make
components with improved functions. Secondly one can understand it to cover various investigations, some of which
involve highly speculative ideas, with the aim of developing
a form of electronics based on individual molecules. The
hope here is that an element performing an electronic function can be incorporated within a single molecule or a small
number of molecules. It is this latter possibility in particular
that has seized the imagination of researchers. The book
reviewed here deals only with the first of these problem areas, and even here it does not claim to cover the whole topic.
A more appropriate title would therefore have been something like “Molecular Materials for Electronics-Selected
Topics”.
The six chapters are essentially independent of each other,
and cover several aspects that are important in relation to
potential applications of molecular materials in electronics.
The first chapter, “Molecular Electronic Materials”, by G. J.
Ashwell, I. Sage, and C. Trundle, begins with a 27-page
survey of such interesting topics as photochromism, electrochromism, organic conductors, superconductors, and
nonlinear materials. The most important areas of applica1536
0 VCH
Verlagsgesellschafl mbH, W-6940 Weinheim, 1992
tion are in optical data storage, molecular rectifiers, and
frequency doubling. A review as short as this is inevitably far
from complete, and many important publications do not
appear in the bibliography. This is followed by a 30-page
review of the physical and chemical properties of liquid crystals, which has no obvious relevance to the theme of the
book. The second chapter, on “Conjugated Polymers”, by
M. F. Rubner, explains conductivity in polymers by introducing the concept of solitons and polarons, then discusses
aspects such as stability and processing behavior, and describes applications of conducting polymers as active layers
in electronic components, in Schottky junctions, and in fieldeffect transistors. In Chapter 3 on “Langmuir-Blodgett
Films”, I. R. Peterson first gives a detailed description
(60 pp.) of the preparation and characterization of these
films, which allow the development of a “molecular architecture” and make it possible to arrange molecules in well-defined structures. This is followed by 15pages devoted to
potential applications (thin insulating films, dielectrics in
capacitors, in lithography, and in nonlinear photonics), the
general impression being rather pessimistic. In Chapter 4 on
“Nonlinear Optics”, S. Allen gives a good overview of the
prospects for measuring nonlinear optical properties of organic materials and influencing these chemically, and also of
incorporating such molecules into a suitable matrix. However, no practical applications in electronics are cited, which
probably reflects the true situation. In Chapter 5, “Piezoelectricity, Pyroelectricity and Ferroelectricity”, J. Sworakowski gives an introduction to this group of topics, with
particular emphasis on molecular solids. Although there are
potential applications in molecular electronics, for sensors,
storage devices, and similar purposes, the author’s view is
that, with the exception of polar monomers, these are unlikely to be realized in the near future. The final chapter by K.
Firth on “Holography” gives a short and superficial account
of the main features of holography, without really relating
this to molecular electronics. Recent developments such as
holography based on bacteriorhodopsin are not mentioned.
It is not clear for whom this book is intended. The six
chapters contain little that will be new to specialists, although they do provide something of an overview of this
broadly interdisciplinary field of research. The interested
non-specialist, although not finding as much in the book as
its title appears to offer, can nevertheless learn something
about several interesting aspects of materials research.
Hans Christoph Worf
Physikalisches Institut
der Universitat Stuttgart (FRG)
The Science of Crystallization. Microscopic Interfacial Phenomena. By K A . Tiller. Cambridge University Press,
Cambridge (UK), 1991. XXX, 391 pp., hardcover
&40.00.-ISBN 0-521-38138-9/paperback E 15.00.-ISBN
0-521-38827-9
The two monographs “The Science of Crystallization.
Macroscopic Phenomena and Defect Generation” and “The
Science of Crystallization. Microscopic Interfacial Phenomena” together form a complete set from this publisher. As the
author indicates in his preface, they are suitable as textbooks
for students at postgraduate or advanced undergraduate levels in materials science, chemistry, or related subjects. These
compact and straightforwardly presented volumes are themselves a crystallization of Tiller’s long experience in teaching
and research, during a period of far-reaching developments
0570-0X33~92jllll-l536$3.50+ ,2510
Angew. Chem. I n t . Ed. Engl. 1992, 31, No. 11
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