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Book Review The Fullerenes. New Horizons for the Chemistry Physics and Astrophysics of Carbon. Edited by H. W. Kroto and D. R. M

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BOOKS
who made that discovery. and for those
interested in the superconductivity of
fullerenes the two articles by Holczer et al.
and by Schluter et al. offer a good introduction. However, on the whole the book
is mainly a collection of specialist contributions. These have been put together in a
way that is to some extent structured.
starting with descriptions of the fullerenes
then going on to deal more specifically
with the chemistry and physics of fullerenes in the solid state. In a rational sequence (though one that is not always
strictly followed), the articles deal in turn
with the discovery of the fullerenes, mass
spectrometric studies, isolation and characterization, the chemistry of fullerenes.
superconductivity, and solid state properties. Despite the fact that research on
fullerenes continues to progress very
rapidly, with the risk that any book is already out-of-date as soon as it is published, this compilation represents the most
important current knowledge covering a
wide variety of topics, especially in the articles on physical and theoretical aspects.
Fullerene C,, . History, Physics,
Nanobiology, Nanotechnology. By D.
Korugu, S. Humerloffi J. Withers, R.
Loutfj>and M . Sundureshan. Elsevier,
Amsterdam, 1993. 380 pp., hardcover HFl200.00.--ISBN 0-444-89833-6
This book contains poems, cartoons,
and a good deal of Egyptian and Greek
mythology. D. Koruga, the principal author, does not always succeed in establishing a clear connection between this material and the fivefold symmetry elements of
C,, or the “biofullerenes”. Serious research on fullerenes is at best only touched
on briefly. In some cases published work
that is mentioned in the text along with its
authors does not appear at all in the bibliography. In one of the collages a cover picture from the journal Science showing C,,
as the Molecule of the Year is needlessly
combined with one of the authors’ own
scanning transmission micrographs. Some-
times Koruga has illustrated the text with
photographs on which he appears superimposed, and a dream that he once had is
classed as one of the most important events
in the history of the fullerenes. The book
is divided into three parts entitled “Science
of Fullerenes“, “From Nanobiology to
Nanotechnology”, and “Fullerene C,, :
Production, Technology and Applications”. The first part begins with a historical survey from the viewpoint of the authors. This is followed by a discussion of
icosahedral symmetry which begins with
ancient China. then sets out some general
symmetry rules which are normally covered in a first-year course. Next the physical properties of c,,,are discussed, with a
strong emphasis on STM studies. The second part has scarcely anything to do with
fullerenes; the topics discussed include biological molecules and slipper animalcules (Paramecium). This part ends by
discussing a number of topics including
the “Herz model” and the *T6,
light machine”. in which the authors establish a
“pentagonal” connection between C,, ,
the birth of Christ, and the beginning of
civilization. In the third part we at last
learn a little about fullerene and potential
applications. This book will certainly
seem very strange to the non-specialist
reader: for the specialist it has no value
other than as a talking point.
The Fullerenes. New Horizons for the
Chemistry, Physics and Astrophysics
of Carbon. Edited by H . W Kroto and
D. R. M . Wulton. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1993. 154 pp.,
paperback
E 17.95.-ISBN 0-52145917-6
In October 1992 the Royal Society held
a seminar, of which H . W. Kroto was one
of the organizers, entitled “A Post-Buckminsterfullerene View of the Chemistry.
Physics and Astrophysics of Carbon”.
This little book contains reprints of
14 papers by the participants, all of whom
are well known in the field. together with
the main contributions to the discussion
sessions following each paper. The book
begins with an excellent contribution by
Osawa on the relationship between the
C,, structure and two-dimensional aromatic systems. This is of particular interest in view of the fact that the C,, structure was first envisaged by Osawa. as a
three-dimensional “superaromatic molecule”. as long ago as 1970. Since then not
only Osawa‘s predictions, but also many
of those described in the second paper by
D. E. H. Jones (better known under the
pseudonym Daedalus) , have since been
confirmed. The giant fullerenes and tubes
that were postulated have since been observed experimentally. Another very exciting prediction by Daedalus that very
large giant fullerenes, because of their low
density at ambient temperature and pressure, should be supercritical liquids. has
still to be put to the test. In the next article
R. F. Curl (see the review of the first book)
again reports on mass spectrometric investigations into the formation of fullerenes. The following contribution on the
synthesis of fullerenes is again written
by the discoverers of the method,
Kratschmer and Huffman. Next there are
articles on the structural systematology of
the fullerenes (Fowler), the electronic
properties of C,, (Haddon), studies of interstellar matter (Jura and Pillinger), and
the reactivity of C,, (Taylor). Kroto and
Walton then contribute a review of their
classic investigations on polyynes and
fullerenes. and Mackay and Terrones discuss theoretical aspects of fullerenes with
negative curvatures. The book ends with a
look at the common structural features of
the fullerenes and geodesic domes. The
compact form of this little book, the good
choice of topics, and the high quality of
the individual articles. which never wander off into unnecessary detail, make it
well worth reading, both for interested
non-specialists and for those closely involved with fullerenes.
Andreas Hirsch
Institut fur Organische Chemie
der Universitiit Tiibingen (FRG)
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