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Book Review Plasma Polymerization. By H. Yasuda

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ond major theme. Other contributions are concerned with
molybdenum, with trace elements in general, with biominerals, and with environmental aspects (with regard to
Ni, Al, As, and Pu). Quite a long chapter is devoted to the
use of spectroscopic methods in bioinorganic chemistry.
The chapter entitled “Nucleic Acid-Metal Ion Interactions” contains two excellent contributions on the reactions of metals with nucleosides and nucleotides and on
the structure and stability of metal-nucleotide complexes.
However, there is also a regrettably much too short “abstract” on the very interesting topic of the role of metals in
the replication and transcription of nucleic acids and their
translation into proteins, which also contains too few references.
A further chapter is headed “Metals in Medicine”. The
choice of topics here does not seem entirely a happy one.
There are two good contributions on the nature and treatment of metabolic disturbances caused by zinc, and on the
use of gold compounds in arthritis therapy, but also one on
the development of a pharmaceutical product from the initial idea to its application, which seems out of place, having no obvious connection with bioinorganic chemistry.
One looks in vain here for a paper reporting on new developments in the area of platinum cytostatics, which seems a
bad omission in view of the current importance of this
class of compounds in the treatment of various cancers.
Apart, however, from these few criticisms, “Frontiers in
Bioinorganic Chemistry” succeeds well as a presentation
of the current situation in this field.
Bernhard Lippert [NB 773 IE]
Institut fur Anorganische und Analytische Chemie
der Universitat Freiburg (FRG)
Plasma Polymerization. By H. Yasuda. Academic Press,
New York 1985. x, 432 pp., bound, $ 62.00.--ISBN 012-768760-2
Plasma polymerization means the formation of polymeric substances from organic vapors in low temperature
plasmas (i.e. electrical discharges in gases). The polymers
are formed at pressures between lo-’ and 10 mbar and
near-ambient temperatures, usually as thin films on glass,
metal o r polymer substrates. Although the effect has been
known for many years (the earliest paper cited is that by P.
de Wilde, published in 1874 in Ber. Dtsch. Chem. Ges.), its
existence had not been much noticed u p to about 1960. Attention was first drawn to this particular type of synthesis
and its potential technical importance in a publication by
J . Goodman. Since 1970 the American Chemical Society
has held regular symposia on the topic, so contributing appreciably to the spreading of interest in the technique.
Plasma polymerization is an interdisciplinary topic,
which is best approached from the background of thinfilm technology in association with high-vacuum preparative techniques. The author begins with some introductory
chapters which cover the fundamental basis of plasma polymerization, the kinetic theory of gases and the theory of
plasmas, dealing with the ionization of molecules by electron impact, ion-molecule reactions, reactions of excited
molecules, and also the effects of the accompanying UV
radiation. This is followed by a summary of the kinetics of
polymerization, with particular emphasis on polymerization by free radicals, ionic polymerization, and radiationinduced polymerization. While plasma polymerization has
little in common with addition polymerization, it is closely
Angew. Chern. Inr. Ed. Engl. 26 (1987) No. I
related to radiation-induced polymerization; on the other
hand, it is a particular type of vacuum polymerization.
It is not until Chapters 6 and 8 that the author comes to
the central theme and the main part of the book, namely
the reaction kinetics and mechanisms of plasma polymerization. To systematically describe the enormous variety of
reactions, which is a consequence of the varied and multifunctional nature of the building blocks and the smallness
of many of these, is a daunting task. The products are for
the most part highly branched and cross-linked, and often
differ from conventional polymers. The methods for analyzing them are also discussed here.
An intermediate chapter deals with the opposite process
which accompanies plasma polymerization, whereby material is removed in the plasma (etching process), and with
the deposition of material by sputtering which also occurs.
This is followed by a detailed chapter on the experimental
arrangements used, and the effects of the many experimental variables which critically influence the results obtained.
As a result of their molecular structures the polymers deposited often show unusual properties, which can give
them some technological importance. In particular they
show extremely strong adhesion to the support, and are
highly resistant chemically. These and other characteristics, along with their electrical properties, especially their
conductivities and dielectric constants, are the subject of
the last two chapters of the book.
Eleven years have passed since the publication of the
last monograph dealing with this topic (Hollahan and Bell:
Techniques and Applications of Plasma Chemistry), and
books such as that of Baddour and Timmins, and that of
McTaggart, are already as old as 18 years. For this reason
alone the publication of the present book is to be welcomed. It contains so many new results, in a concise and
readable form, that it must be recommended for reading by
specialists in the field. In interpreting experimental results
the author has tended to disregard alternative explanations
proposed by others; such a bias can be accepted in view of
the author’s competence.
Emst-Giinther Schlosser [NB 778 IE]
Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft, Frankfurt/Main (FRG)
Metalloproteins. Pt. 1 : Metal Proteins with Redox Roles.
Pt. 2: Metal Proteins with Non-Redox Roles. Edited by P.
Harrison. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, Weinheim 1985. Pt.
1 : xi, 256 pp., bound, DM 138.00.--ISBN 3-527-26136-2;
Pt. 2: xii, 339 pp., bound, DM 166.00.--ISBN 3-52726137-0
Volumes 6 and 7 of the series Topics in Molecular and
Structural Biology deal with the enormous progress that
has occurred in inorganic biochemistry (also called bioinorganic chemistry) in the last twenty years. This is quite a
demanding task, since the questions surrounding the role
of metal ions in living organisms cross the conventional
boundaries of research specialisms, and the multidisciplinary nature of the undertaking stretches the holistic point
of view to its limits. There are already several series of progress reports in green, orange o r blue covers, which for
more than ten years have been presenting bioinorganic
matters. Is this an opportune time to extend the range of
colors? The editor Pauline Harrison and the publishers are
to be congratulated on the idea of presenting the current
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