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Book Review Synthetic Methods of Organometallic and Inorganic Chemistry. Vol. 6. Lanthanides and Actinides. Edited by F. T. Edelmann

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focused on CH-acidities, theoretical and
organometallic (uranocene-)chemistry,
and polycations. His commitments as
the author of well-known textbooks and
his role as an editor of J. Urg. Chem. are
also mentioned. Many references to the
primary literature, a collection of short
biographies of the chemists mentioned
in the text, and an index are testimony of
the author’s diligent approach. The reader who expects a collection of “funny”
anecdotes will therefore be disappointed, although there are references here
and there to hobbies like fly fishing, and
the author includes information about
all of his students who are mentioned.
Rather, Streitwieser endeavors to show
how the mutual fertilization of theory
and experiment have contributed to his
scientific success. This book will therefore be of great value to those who wish
to be informed about the research of
Streitwieser’s group and, moreover,
about the development of physical organic chemistry in the USA over the past
three to four decades.
Jens J. Wolff
Organisch-Chemisches Institut
der Universitat Heidelberg (Germany)
Synthetic Methods of Organometallic and Inorganic Chemistry. Vol. 6.
Lanthanides and Actinides. Edited
by I;: T Edelmann. (Series editor:
W. A. Herrmann). Georg Thieme
Verlag, Stuttgart, 1997. 226 pp.,
hardcover DM 124.00.-ISBN 3-13103071-2
This book is the best current source of
preparative information on lanthanide
and actinide complexes. It is an important resource for anyone involved in the
chemistry of these metals.
The decision to update the classic
Handbook of Preparative Inorganic
Chemistry by G. Brauer, and to include
organometallic as well as inorganic information, is an excellent one. In the
past, “Brauer” has been extremely valuable as a concise
source of detailed
preparative information in the inorganic area. A single source of this
type is useful not
only to obtain specific information,
but also to get an
overview of an
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed Engl. 1997,109, No. 23
area, its techniques, and its potential
applicability to a problem. The Herrmann/Brauer update of this series will be
even more useful since it will extend the
coverage to modern organometallic
chemistry. This is a daunting task, however, and requires eight volumes!
The decision to include in this series
one volume on lanthanide and actinide
chemistry was also an excellent choice.
Lanthanide and actinide chemistry has
been one of the most rapidly developing
areas of inorganic and organometallic
chemistry in recent years. Since this is a
rather modern area, no single source of
preparative information is available.
Currently, this information must be obtained either from the primary literature
or from review articles. As the field has
grown, recent review articles must report
only the latest results in order to maintain a manageable size. As a result,
several sources must be examined sequentially to get synthetic information
and to be to certain that it is up-to-date.
The Edelmann volume of the Herrmannl
Brauer series provides in a single book
the information currently available on
lanthanide and actinide synthesis.
Professor Edelmann did an excellent
job in organizing this volume. Initially,
he surveyed the lanthanide and actinide
community for suggestions and contributions and used this input to select the
specific syntheses to be included. All of
the major types of compounds are represented in this volume, which is an
outstanding achievement considering
the space limitations. With the growth
rate of this field, the volume could easily
double in size in the next revision. Users
of this volume should realize that the
coverage is necessarily representative
rather than comprehensive.
Professor Edelmann has also written
introductions to each of the chapters,
briefly surveying the synthetic aspects of
each sub-category. These introductions
are very valuable since this type of
summary information on preparations
is not readily available elsewhere. Occasionally, introductions to some of the
specific syntheses have also been written
to put the chemistry in context. These
are stimulating since they sometimes
include statements not universally accepted by the lanthanide and actinide
community. For example, syntheses of
some bimetallic compounds traditionally
thought to have no metal - metal bonding are prefaced by comments that the
distances suggest metal - metal interactions. Similarly, prefaces to some sections make statements about the relative
sizes of cyclopentadienyl ligands for
0 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH, D-69451 Weinheim, 1997
which there is not complete agreement
among specialists.
The individual synthetic sections of
the book are generally taken directly
from the literature. As such, different
syntheses have different levels of detail.
For example, in some cases all of the
infrared data on a series of analogous
compounds is given, whereas in other
cases no such information is included.
Similarly, cell constants from X-ray crystallographic studies are sometimes, but
not always, given when a structural study
has been done. In the case of the
syntheses taken from the older literature, some of the formulas for the
starting materials are antiquated, particularly in terms of alkoxide precursors
which have subsequently been found to
have structures more complicated than
Ln(OR)3 or Ln(OR),. Hence, it must be
remembered that this book is neither a
critical review nor a publication such as
Inorganic Synthesis, in which the preparations have been independently tested.
In addition, since this field is moving
quickly, the book already unavoidably
contains some dated material. For example, it is stated in one section that the
introduction of a third n ligand to a
(C,Me,),U unit is impossible.
The four chapters divide the book into
lanthanide (inorganic and organometallic) and actinide (inorganic and organometallic) sections. The inorganic chapters are also valuable to organometallic
researchers since they describe the preparation of starting materials. For example, since it is somewhat difficult to
obtain truly anhydrous lanthanide starting materials, and the descriptions of the
drying methods are in very early literature, it is particularly useful to have a
modern analysis of this topic.
In summary, this lanthanide/actinide
inorganic/organometallic volume is a
unique resource in the field. This information has not previously been available
in a single place and no modern compilation of these details is available. For
someone interested in starting a project
in lanthanide or actinide chemistry, this
volume provides the information on how
to begin experimentally. For any active
lanthanide/actinide laboratory this book
is an essential resource. It should be
required reading for all new students in
lanthanide/actinide laboratories, and I
found that it can stimulate thought in the
experienced researcher as well.
William J. Evans
Department of Chemistry,
University of California
Irvine, CA (USA)
0570-0833/97/10923-2693$ 17.50t.5010
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