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Book Review PhosphorusЦCarbon Heterocyclic Chemistry The Rise of a New Domain Edited by Franois Mathey.

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Ekkehard Diemann
Fakultt fr Chemie
Universitt Bielefeld (Germany)
Phosphorus – Carbon Heterocyclic
Chemistry: The Rise of a New
Edited by Franois
Mathey. Elsevier
Science, Amsterdam 2001. 846 pp.,
E 290.00.—ISBN
The field of phosphorus – carbon heterocyclic chemistry has developed into a
vast area of research, placing it alongside nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur heterocycles as worthy of its own classification.
Over the past 20 years in particular,
research on P – C heterocycles has produced a flood of literature reporting on
compounds with increasing electronic
complexity and greater utility in multidentate ligation to transition metals.
Under the above title, editor Fran,ois
Mathey has now compiled a comprehensive survey of this extensive field,
ranging from the preparation of the first
phosphorus-containing organic ring to
the current trends and future directions
of P – C heterocyclic chemistry. Each
chapter is superbly written by some of
the most prominent names in the field,
many of whom have themselves made
indispensable contributions to the
development of this area of chemistry.
Previously, the chemistry of P – C
heterocycles had mainly been covered
within larger volumes dealing with the
broader scope of heterocyclic chemistry
in general, or as an addendum to
volumes devoted to their nitrogen counterparts. This book was inspired by the
Elsevier publication Comprehensive
Heterocyclic Chemistry II in 1996,
which included several chapters on
phosphorus heterocyclic chemistry and
demonstrated that the field, as a result
of its immensity and rapid progress, had
reached a state of exigency which necessitated its collection into a single
volume. Nine of the original chapters
in CHEC II have been retained and
updated, and some of the themes have
been rearranged to give this new volume
a convenient and systematic organization. In addition, seven new chapters
provide the satisfying completeness not
previously offered by a text in this field.
The book is arranged in seven sections, beginning with an introduction by
the editor, which briefly lays out the
historical framework highlighting the
major achievements that have pushed
the field forward and helped establish
current research trends. After the introduction follow sections devoted to
three-, four-, five-, and six-membered
rings, as well as sections on macro-,
poly-, and spiro-heterocycles and applications of phosphorus heterocycles in
homogeneous catalysis. The sections are
weighted appropriately taking into
account the amount of literature and
examples available for each type of ring,
and each section contains chapters
based on distinctive structural subclassifications.
Phosphiranes, phosphetanes, phospholanes, and phosphinanes are each
thoroughly discussed, as well as essentially every combination of their corresponding unsaturated derivatives and
those with more than one phosphorus
atom. Extra attention is devoted to the
substantial field of phospholes (two
separate chapters), and there are chapters on heterophospholes (heteroatom ¼ N, As, Sb, O, S, Se, Te, or additional P atoms) as well as on derivatives
of phosphinines containing at least one
3 2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
0044-8249/03/4209-0970 $ 20.00+.50/0
additional heteroatom (N, O, or P). The
chapters on macro-, poly-, and spiroheterocycles include 7-, 8-, and 9-membered rings, as well as some larger
macrocycles, many with chelating ability. In addition, bicyclic systems with
phosphorus at the bridgehead position
and more complex polycyclic systems
with ring junction- and spiro-phosphorus atoms are thoroughly described. In
the final chapter, the editor gives a
gratifying account of how phosphorus
heterocycles are being applied in homogeneous catalysis, with the emphasis on
the structure and design of P-containing
ligands rather than on the mechanistic
details of the catalytic processes themselves.
Throughout the volume, specific
compounds or classes of compounds
are discussed with the emphasis on
synthetic routes and descriptions of the
bonding. Mechanistic and thermodynamic details are given only in unusual
or especially instructive instances, and
discussions of applications are generally
confined to the final chapter dealing
with homogeneous catalysis, although
details of reactivity are certainly
included where appropriate. The visual
presentation is almost exclusively by
means of reaction schemes, along with
compact and helpful tabulated spectroscopic or structural data. References are
given for every compound or piece of
data presented, and cover the literature
from 1915 through 1999, with a few
references from the year 2000.
This thorough account of P – C heterocycles is not generally suited for
students or classroom use, although it
provides enough educational examples
to be incorporated into advanced coursework. It is rather intended for the
growing group of specialists active in the
field, and would serve well in libraries
and as a central reference source within
research groups. In view of the distinguished collection of authors and the
completeness of the volume, Phosphorus – Carbon Heterocyclic Chemistry:
The Rise of a New Domain is highly
recommendable and can be expected to
serve as the benchmark reference on the
Brian P. Johnson
Institut fr Anorganische Chemie
Universitt Karlsruhe (Germany)
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, No. 9
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