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Book Review Sulphones in Organic Synthesis. (Tetrahedron Organic Chemistry Series Vol. 10.) By N. S

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BOOKS
fides. The authors justify this very personal choice of subject matter close to their
own research interests by claiming that
only in this way is it possible to include
experimental results that are highly reproducible. The examples discussed in the
book cannot represent more than a very
tiny segment of the large and fascinating
subject of solid state chemistry. In principle the inclusion of a chapter on preparative methods before the specialized part
of the book is a good feature, but even
here some important aspects are cut down
to an unacceptable extent (flux methods
are given seven lines, chemical transport
one page, and high-pressure syntheses half
a page). Without any introduction to the
structural aspects or their geometrical basis, the following chapter goes straight into a description of the monoxides of transition metals. The first structural diagram
in the book shows the crystal structure of
CuO. Following the trend set by the general part of the book, where a lengthy
chapter is devoted to the electronic properties of semiconductors, the book places
particular emphasis throughout on transition metal oxide semiconductors. Even
here, however, much space is wasted by
reproducing numerous conductivity curves
for the compounds concerned, sometimes
filling the whole page and conveying little
information. There is, of course. a mention at the end of the oxides chapter of the
modern ceramic cuprate superconductors. The final chapter is devoted to transition metal sulfides. As in the oxides
chapter. there are many large, and not
particularly well drawn, crystal structure
diagrams showing the basic structural
types. The electronic properties of the
compounds under discussion are explained
by means of energy band schemes, usually
greatly simplified. As in other textbooks
on solid state chemistry, there are exercise
problems at the end of each chapter (with
answers at the end of the book), and also
lists of original publications, some of
which are quite extensive. Here, instead of
listing, for example, over 150 references to
original papers on ternary and higher tran-
1404
(’
sition metal oxides, it would have been
much more useful to give a limited selection of relevant review articles and textbooks.
To summarize, one cannot really recommend this book to a large readership as an
accompaniment to lecture courses. The
main criticisms are that the choice of topics
is very subjective and unrepresentative,
that important concepts and facts are
sometimes treated very superficially, and
that the diagrams and the text layout are
rather unattractive. The book will not succeed in awakening an enthusiasm for the
fascinating subject of solid state chemistry
in readers approaching it for the first time
(including students).
Wolfgang Schnick
Laboratorium fur Anorganische Chemie
der Universitlt Bayreuth (FRG)
Sulphones in Organic Synthesis. (Tetrahedron Organic Chemistry Series,
Vol. 10.) By N . S. Simpkins. Pergamon, Oxford, 1993. 381 pp., paperback & 30.00, hardcover E 55.00.ISBN 0-08-040284-4
(paperback),
0-08-040283-6 (hardcover)
The use of sulfones in organic synthesis
has become much more important during
the last twenty years. Their synthetic potential now rivals that of the carbonyl
group in versatility. This monograph by
N. S. Simpkins focuses attention on the
synthetic aspects of SO, compounds.
which have the important advantage of
being easily obtainable. The book consists
of nine chapters, and the literature coverage extends in general up to the end of
1990, including also some important original publications up to the end of 1991. A
brief introduction to the chemistry of sulfones (4 pp.) is followed by a chapter of
94 pages on the preparation of sulfones
(e.g., alkylaryl, dialkyl, vinyl and other
unsaturated and functionalized sulfones),
each class being treated in accordance
VCH I.i~rlugJjiesrll.schufr
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with its relative importance. The next
chapter (82 pp.) deals comprehensively
with sulfoiiyl carbanions, describing their
formation, structures, stereochemistry,
and wide variety of reactions. This is followed by chapters on addition reactions
of unsaturated sulfones (25 pp.). rearrangements of sulfones (1 9 pp.), the cycloaddition chemistry of unsaturated sulfones (26 pp.), and the formation of CC
double bonds by sulfone elimination
(35 pp.). The book ends with chapters on
the chemistry of cyclic sulfones (43 pp.)
and desulfonation reactions (38 pp.).
The author’s method of classifying the
now very broad subject of sulfones and
their chemistry according to compound
type and reaction type has turned out successfully. He has included not only wellestablished routine syntheses using sulfones but also others that are less well
known and have only recently been developed; all of these are described in detail.
In the discussion of the palladium-catalyzed synthesis of allylsulfones (Ch. 2) the
author has omitted to mention the work
of Y. Tamaru et al. (J. Chern. Soc. Chem.
Cornrnun. 1978, 367) and of U . M .
Dzemilev et al. ( Z h . Org. Khirn. 1978, 14.
2223 ; see also J. Orgunornet. Chem. 1993,
455,1-27). In his introduction the author
explains that the book’s main purpose is
to emphasize and illustrate the growing
importance of sulfones in organic synthesis; this aim has certainly been achieved.
In particular the many clearly set out reaction schemes make it easy for the reader to
understand the reactions described and
the related factual information.
The monograph gives a good account
of the current state of knowledge regarding sulfones in organic synthesis, and
forms an important addition to the relevant review articles in “Houben-Weyl”
and “Patai”. It is essential to all departmental libraries involved in any way with
organic synthesis.
Eberhard Wenschuh
Fachbereich Chemie
der Humboldt-Universitat
Berlin (FRG)
0570-0R33/94/1313-1404 3 10.00+ .25;0
Angeu. Chem. I n t . Ed. Engl. 1994. 33, No. 13
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