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Book Review The Surface Scientist's Guide to Organometallic Chemistry. By M. R. Albert and J. T

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clature related to that for peptides might be used, in which
the building units would be represented only by initial letters (although, of course, the problems of “branching” and
“crosslinking” in the primary structures of peptides are
much simpler).
Thus it can be seen that what initially at times appeared
to be a collection of curiosities, even including trivia (although, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so presumably the music of a name is in the ear of the listener),
has now raised important and far-reaching questions. For
this reason the book is also a stimulating, and often
thought-provoking, contribution to the study of the language of chemistry.
The authors too must have been well aware of this aspect of the book, since some of the appendices are only
meaningful in that light. Once one begins to consider the
words and their meanings, one progresses very quickly
from the hundredth to the thousandth. What are the origins of the expressions familiar to us? Do these wordsoften derived from Latin or Greek-sound better to our
ears (more “euphonic”) than the modern names which
have been coined, sometimes making the reader or listener
flinch? (on the lines of, for example, betweenanene, buckminsterfullerene-or better still, buckyball-and what if
barrelene had instead been named zimmerene!). The
mechanisms of (modern) word construction are by no
means new. It was already common to make up composite
words (acetal = acetaldehyde
alcohol; carbazole =
carb + az
ole); or as an extreme example, chloramphenicol-see the book for its derivation), to use abbreviations
(phthalic acid is actually (na)phthal(en)ic acid), and to
make transpositions (ninhydrin from hydrindene). On the
other hand, the making u p of acronyms, following the
modern craze for abbreviations, has recently grown to such
an extent that already one can almost begin to talk in terms
of a third generation of nomenclature. However, Appendix
A is a mine of information on explanations and derivations of standard expressions used in organic chemistry.
It would no more be possible to translate the whole of
“The Name Game” into another language than to retain
its rhyming title. This is firstly because the English language, with its great differences between the spoken and
written forms, lends itself much more readily to plays on
words than, for example, German, and secondly because
of the authors’ frequent clever and imaginative use of such
devices. Some nice examples are the following: “The vitamin C story began with ‘ignose’ and ‘godnose’. Where will
it end? Who knows?”; or: “Through deals made by Alde r . . .”; or: “Atrane is not something we board at a railroad
station”. The text abounds with puns of this sort, which,
like the anecdotes, are not only intended to cause a quick
smile, but are also very instructive. It is certainly true that
wit or fun often lead to a much quicker and better remembered understanding of a point than does a long-winded
explanation. English-speaking authors-not only when
preparing textbooks o r papers, but also when giving afterdinner talks (from whence, incidentally, an appreciable
number of the examples in “The Name Game” seem to
have originated)-use this technique more often and adeptly than we German speakers. As a general principle,
when the words of one language can no longer be translated into another, this is evidence of the vitality of both
words and language. One is then forced to adopt the foreign words-or remain silent.
As every competitor knows, games are not games, but
are deadly earnest. In the case of the present book, whose
impact depends to a large extent on correct spelling of the
words, this means that it must not contain any printing or
other errors. And although the authors were naturally well
aware of this, some errors have nevertheless escaped their
notice: Konrad Lorenz (in the list of Nobel prizewinners in
Appendix F) is not a Dutchman, it was Unverdorben who
isolated aniline by distillation of indigo (not Herr Underderben, as given in Appendix A), in V6gtle the umlaut has
been put over the wrong letter, and so on. These are mere
trifles, but the absence of an index of names must be either
the final joke of the book, or a bad joke.
From time to time a plea is made for making the chemical literature more “human”-it is said to be too dry and
sterile, so that one can no longer recognize the real author
behind the words. It cannot be said too strongly that any
such move is to be avoided. In our writing most of us are
far from being great stylists, let alone literary giants, and
most of our work would not gain in value by having a “humanizing” introduction included. But if now and again
other books as entertaining as the all too human “Name
Game” were to appear, from which one could similarly
learn a surprising amount about new developments in
chemistry-that would really be fine.
Henning Hopf [NB 907 IE]
Institut fur Organische Chemie
der Technischen Universitat Braunschweig (FRG)
The Surface Scientist’s Guide to Organometallic Chemistry.
By M . R . Albert and J. T. Yates, Jr. American Chemical
Society, Washington, D C (USA) 1987. xiii, 214 pp.,
bound, $ 59.95 ($49.95 in USA and Canada).-ISBN 084 12-1003-9
Since the pioneering work of Earl Muetterties, organometallic chemistry has received increasing attention by surface chemists and surface physicists. It is therefore not surprising that the authors of this little book have dedicated it
to the memory of Muetterties. He showed convincingly
that the structures and chemical properties of chemisorption systems can be discussed in terms of the analogous
interactions between transition metal centers and their ligands.
The book by Albert and Yates clearly emphasizes the importance of organometallic chemistry for the chemistry
and physics of surfaces, and addresses mainly surface
chemists and surface physicists. An introduction (Chapter
l), is followed in Chapter 2 (Basic Coordination Chemistry) by a concise qualitative summary of theories of chemical bonding in coordination compounds. Chapter 3 (Overview of Coordination Ligands) is the longest chapter of the
book, and occupies a central position. It begins with a description of the main methods available for preparing surface complexes and ligands on well-characterized metallic
surfaces in ultra-high vacuum. This is followed by a detailed discussion of the bonding situations and reactivities
for 13 different classes of Iigands: lone-pair donors, diatomic ligands, substituted diatomic ligands, systems with
cumulenes, heteroolefins, triatomic pseudohalogens, organic chelates, nonmetal oxyanions, aromatics, heterocycles, electron deficient ligands, molecular fragments and,
lastly, atomic species. The discussion points out qualitative
analogies between molecular compounds and chemisorption systems, with regard to their geometric and electronic
structures and their reactivity (with particular reference to
catalytic reactions). In cases where there are no comparative data for ligands and surfaces, the authors draw attention to these gaps in knowledge, as potential research topAnyen, Chem Inf.Ed Engl 27/1988)
No 9
ics of interest to surface scientists. The chapter concludes
with the comment
. that most any program of surface
science research could benefit greatly by using organometallic chemistry as a reference point from which to gain
understanding into the more likely results that may be expected in a given surface system and to gain insight into
the results that are unique to surfaces.”
Chapter 4 (Bonding Sites in Clusters and their Relationship to Surface Bonding Sites) examines to what extent the
description of ligand-metal bonding in complexes and
clusters, in terms of orbital symmetry and orbital overlap,
can be applied to chemisorption bonding. The authors emphasize the importance of relating such models to band
structure calculations.
This aspect is developed in greater detail in the concluding Chapter 5 (Application of Orbital Symmetry and Orbital Overlap to Surface Band Structure Calculations), which
discusses particularly the work of Roald Hoffman and coworkers on the application of symmetry considerations to
surface bonding, taking as examples the CO/Ni( 100) and
H,/Ni( 1 1 1) systems. In these studies good qualitative
agreement was found between calculations on metal complexes and those on simple adsorption systems.
The book contains over 400 literature references, mainly
of fairly recent publications, up to and including 1985. To
help overcome the well-known language problems which
arise between organometallic chemists and surface scientists, an excellent glossary is included giving expressions
used by specialists in both fields. The comprehensive subject index is very useful, and the book is attractively produced and almost free of printing errors.
The book, which is the only one of its kind on this topic,
is fascinating to read, and it is warmly recommended to
coordination chemists as well as to surface and catalysis
scientists. These latter two groups will find here a wealth
of stimulating ideas. For newcomers to the field, whether
their interests are experimentaI or theoretical, the book offers an excellent start in the field of surface chemistry and
physics. Certainly one wishes the authors success with this
book, which will appeal to a wide readership. It should be
available in all specialist libraries, and surface scientists
should have it to hand at all times.
Helmut Knozinger [NB 865 IE]
Institut fur Physikalische Chemie
der Universitat Miinchen (FRG)
‘ I . .
The Chemistry of the Cyclopropyl Group. Edited by S. Patai and 2. Rappoport. Wiley, Chichester 1987. Part l :xii,
p. 1-808, bound, E 135.00.-ISBN 0-471-90658-1; Part 2:
xii, p. 809-1739, bound, L 135.00.-ISBN 0-471-91737-0.
(Two-volume set E 250.00.--ISBN 0-471-91738-9.)
Apart from the substantial article by D . Wendisch
(Houben-Weyl-Miiller, Volume IV/3), published in 1971,
the chemistry of cyclopropane and its derivatives has
scarcely been described in reviews; it is treated mainly in
fragmented form in chapters and books of different emphasis, and under titles that do not explicitly refer to cyclopropane. It is therefore very pleasing that S. Patai has added to his successful series with two volumes in collaboration with 2. Rappoport that are devoted entirely to the ring
of three carbon atoms.
As usual, the various topics are dealt with by different
authors in independent chapters. The editors’ plea to the
authors was that they should not compile encyclopedias,
but should place the most important developments in the
Angen. Chem. In,. Ed. Engl. 27 (1988) No. 9
foreground and not repeat in detail material that had already been reviewed. This is a demand which, of course,
requires a knowledge of all the material, in order to make a
representative choice, and not all the authors have succeeded in this as well as could be wished. In general, the
literature is reviewed up to and including 1984; in some
chapters work up to the end of 1985 is taken into account.
In the first chapter, K . B. Wiberg gives a brief, but extremely succinct survey of structures, energies and spectra
of cyclopropanes. In the next chapter W. Runge deals with
the chirooptical properties of cyclopropane derivatives,
and presents, along with other ideas, his triad theory of
optical rotations. NMR and IR spectra of cyclopropanes
and cyclopropenes are covered by D. G. Morris. Rather
than confining himself to a summary of experimental results in the area of NMR chemical shifts, he struggles with
the speculations on the meaning of the data by the authors
concerned, without achieving lucidity. It would have been
more helpfuI to have indicated (as in the first chapter) that
chemical shifts are only very superficially understood, but
that thanks to recent work by W. Kutzelnigg and M .
Schindler they can now be calculated rather precisely. On
pp. 105, 118, and 153, one finds molecules that can only
exist in the world of M. C. Escher.
Chapters 4-14 are on the following topics: the chemistry
of ionized cyclopropanes in the gas phase ( H . Schwarz),
photoelectron spectroscopy (R. E. Ballard), acidity and basicity of cyclopropanes (M. A . Battiste, J . M.Coxon), preparation of cyclopropyl derivatives (T. Tsuji, S . Nishida),
organic synthesis via cyclopropanes: principles and applications (H.- U . Reissig), synthesis and reactivity of electrophilic cyclopropanes (R. Verhk, N. De Kimpe), conjugative
and substituent properties of the cyclopropyl group (T. T.
Tidwell), solvolysis of cyclopropyl-substituted derivatives
(E. C . Friedrich), cyclopropyl radicals, anion radicals, and
anions (G. Boche, H. M. Wulborsky), rearrangements involving the cyclopropyl group (J. Salaiin). and radiation
chemistry and hot atom chemistry of cyclopropane and its
derivatives (Z. B. Alfassi).
In Chapter 15 (electrochemistry of the cyclopropyl
group, J. Y. Becker), the work of S . Hiinig, which was required in connection with formulas 14, 15 (p. 926) and 82
(p. 959, is absent. Chapter 16, on the biochemistry of the
cyclopropyl group (If.- W . Liu. C. T. Walsh), is extraordinarily interesting, and shows the importance of the chemistry of three membered carbocycles, easily labeled “exotic”, for the understanding of many reactions in living systems. B. K . Carpenter describes the preparation and uses
of isotopically labeled derivatives; J. F. Liebman and A .
Greenberg treat cyclopropanes having extra strain.
Unfortunately, Chapter 19 (bicycle[ l.l.O]butanes, S. Hoz)
falls below the expected standard. The author stresses in
the introduction that the last comprehensive article on this
subject dates from 1968, and that he therefore wishes to
discuss it in more detail than usual. However, this aim is
reached only to a very modest extent. Results from before
1968 take up disproportionate space in the text, while a
number of important recent developments are missing.
Thus, in discussing the addition of tetracyanoethylene
to the tetramethyl derivatives of 2,3-bismethylenebicyclor2.1. llhexane and 3,4-bismethylenetricyclo[,6Jhexane, the original interpretation of the large difference in
rate constants between the two reactions is quoted, attributing it to orbital interactions (p. 1133). More recent experiments with the parent compounds (P. Yogel, M .
Christl), which trace the effect almost entirely to the steric
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