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Book Review Zuckermans Compendium of Inorganic ChemistryЧУtimely critical comprehensiveФ Inorganic Reactions and Methods. Edited by J. J

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measurements for the case where an insensitive nucleus
which is coupled to a proton is to be observed using 1 D or
2 D pulse sequences. For I5N the relative signal to noise
ratios vary in proportion to I, 10, 30 and 300, depending
on the pulse sequence used, requiring measurement times
of 25 h, 15 min, 100 s o r 1 s, respectively.
The book by Ernst, Bodenhausen, and Wokaun is undoubtedly to be regarded as the standard work on modern
NMR spectroscopy, presenting the basic theory which underlies the newer pulse experiments used in structure elucidation. It will be indispensable for all scientists who wish
to learn “at first hand” about these advanced techniques,
and no departmental library should be without it. It is
likely to become required reading for all physical chemistry oriented N M R spectroscopists.
What, then, is the overall impression? In the last ten
years new methods have been introduced into N M R spectroscopy which allow quicker solutions to standard types
of chemical problems, and make it possible for the first
time to answer questions concerning the structures of such
complex systems as proteins in solution. Up to now one
has had to rely mainly on reading the original papers for
the principles of these methods and examples of their applications. There has been a lack of monographs on the
subject, apart from the doctoral thesis by Ad Bax, which
was successfully published in book form. This situation is
now changing rapidly, perhaps more so than people responsible for libraries would wish, in view of their limited
budgets. In addition to the four books reviewed here, more
are already on the way’’]. With the availability of these, the
cost of updating the book stock in NMR alone could easily
exceed DM 1000. With regard to the four books reviewed,
however, the choice is not too difficult. The purchase of
Book ( I ) is subject of personal preference. Book (2) is
highly recommended to everyone who is engaged in the
application of modern NMR techniques. N o chemistry department should be without it. Book (3) will please anyone
who already has N M R experience, and wishes to gain
a deeper understanding of the theory of modern
pulsed NMR methods using the product operator formalism. Finally, Book (4) is the standard work which
belongs in every library and on the desk of the N M R
Dieter Ziessow [NB 853 IE]
Institut fur Physikalische Chemie
der Technischen Universitat Berlin
Zuckermans Compendium of Inorganic
Chemistry-“timely, critical, comprehensive”?
For some time now it has been well known amongst
those involved with the subject that VCH Verlagsgesellschaft was planning a multivolume work in which the
wealth of experience in synthetic methods and experimental skills in inorganic chemistry would be brought together
in an orderly presentation. At a very early stage well
known inorganic chemists were invited to serve on an
“Editorial Advisory Board”, or as “Editorial Consultants
to the Series”, so as to take part in managing this truly monumental project under the direction of a n experienced
editor. Of course, authors were also needed, and some
years had passed by the time these were found, and eventually the first contributions arrived and were assembled
together in their appropriate individual volumes. Of the 18
volumes on “Reactions” which are planned (with a further
Angew Chrm Int Ed Engl. 26 (1987) No 11
six on “Methods” to follow), volumes 1 and 15 have now
appeared, namely:
Inorganic Reactions and Methods. Edited by J . J. Zuckerman. VCH Verlagsgesellschaft, WeinheimNCH Publishers, Deerfield Beach 1986. Vol. 1: The Formation of
Bonds to Hydrogen (Part 1). xxv, 326 pp., bound, DM
275.00.--ISBN 3-527-26259-8/0-89573-251-3; Vol. 15:
Electron-Transfer and Electrochemical Reactions; Photochemical and Other Energized Reactions. xxiii, 399 pp.,
bound, DM 298.00.-ISBN 3-527-26273-3/0-89573-250-5
This reviewer anticipated seeing the result of this long
gestation with as much curiosity as must the many others
who at various times have taken interest in the preparation
of the volumes. How would those in charge cope with the
almost impossible task which they had been given?
The first chapter of Vol. 1 (“How to Use this Book”)
begins with a n explanation under the title “Organization
of Subject Matter”. We learn that reactions and techniques
are grouped together under “Formation of Bonds” according to the elements involved. Thus we begin in Vol. 1 with
“Formation of Bonds to Hydrogen”, the elements of the
halogen and chalcogen groups being the first bonding
partners dealt with. Vol. 2 accordingly deals with hydrides
formed by the remaining elements, and this is followed by
“Formation of Bonds to Halogens”, “Formation of Bonds
to Chalcogens”, and so o n (Vols. 3-13). The material in
these volumes is supplemented by special volumes (Vols.
14-18) on themes such as “Insertion Reactions and Their
Reverse” (in Vol. 14), and “The Formation of Intercalation
Compounds” (in Vol. 17). Vol. 15 deals with “ElectronTransfer and Electrochemical Reactions” and “Photochemical and Other Energized Reactions”.
What, then are one’s observations after using these
“sample volumes”? Vol. 1 turned out to be largely unreadable: if one wishes to get an overview on methods for
forming a particular type of bond or compound, one finds
that the “iron discipline” which has been followed in the
arrangement of the material severs all the usual connections. As an example, in a section which has the subtitles
“1.2 The Formation of Hydrogen-1.2.2 By Reactions of
Hydride Ions- With O H Groups and Acids in O H
Systems”, one finds on pages 5-11 descriptions of reactions which include that of NaH with water or carboxylic
acids, the decomposition of methylberyllium hydride or
BzoHI8’- by acids, the hydrolysis of UH, and Th4H,5,the
reaction of Sn(OCH,), with diborane, and the catalytic
steam reforming reaction (production of hydrogen from alkanes and steam). Under each of these topics there are
only a few lines and one equation, and only eight literature
references in total, then we push on further with the systematic treatment! Again, under the series of headings “1.4
The Formation of Bonds between Hydrogen and Elements
of Group VIB (0,S, Se, Te, Po)-1.4.5 By Reactions of
Protonic Acids- With Sulfides- In Preparations of Anhydrous Acids of Sulfur”, one finds the formation of H2S203from sodium thiosulfate and HCI, together with an (incorrect) formula. Would one have looked
for it there?-and does it belong there anyway? The next
reaction, which follows in the same section without a sentence to bridge the transition, is the formation of CF,SH.
Since this first volume contains virtually n o easily digestible sections which make for easy reading (such as are still
found in “Houben-Weyl”, for example), this part of the
handbook is best treated as a work of reference. It is in fact
ideally suited for this purpose, as the author, compound
and subject indexes to the first volume occupy 90 of the
326 pages, and are excellent. The more specialized the subject on which one wants information, the better the book
serves one as a reference source; for example, the information given on HSeD is faultless, while on the other hand to
seek out a critical survey of essential facts about HZOZis a
time-consuming task which yields no satisfactory result.
There is some compensation, however, in the convenient
reading list given at the end of each chapter, even though it
is not always fully u p to date. This reflects the wide variation between the many individual authors as regards their
competence and specialized knowledge in the topics covered.
Quite a different picture emerges in Vol. 15, which contains long reviews on specialized topics by only a few authors, with coverage of even very recent results. The test is
enriched by the inclusion of many structural formulas, diagrams and numerical results, and the physical-chemical
basis is also treated. The publishers’ advertisement of the
work as “timely, critical and comprehensive” is certainly
true of this volume, while it is not of Vol. 1. The two parts
entitled “Electron-Transfer and Electrochemical Reactions” ( N . Sutin, R . G. Linck, C . Creutz, W. E. Geiger, M .
J. Weaver) and “Photochemical and Other Energized
Reactions” (G. L. Geoffroy. P. C. Ford, H. B. Abruhamson.
M . Z . Hoffman) are concerned virtually exclusively with
the chemistry of transition metals. Provided that one accepts this limitation, it can be said that the material has
been put together in an exemplary way and presented in a
very useful and readable form. Presumably in these ‘‘late’’
volumes the shortcomings which result from the rigidly
systematic treatment of the d and f blocks elements in only
one short volume (Vol. 14) must be remedied.
These first two samples of the new series are thus of very
different quality. It is to be hoped that, in the volumes to
come, it will still be possible to correct some negative aspects. The external appearance of the books is faultless.
Hubert Schmidbaur INB 830 IE]
Anorganisch-chemisches Institut
der Technischen Universitat Munchen, Garching (FRG)
Houben-Weyl - Controversial
“Houben-Weyl” is one of the central pillars of the
chemical literature; it is an authoritative source book of
the first rank-and not only in the German-speaking
world. The blue cloth-bound volumes command respect,
and provide comprehensive and clearly set out information about the methods of organic chemistry. They contain
a wealth of treasures, with carefully prepared synopses
edited for ease of use. Such, for example, are the volumes
on organophosphorus and organoboron chemistry. It is a
pleasure to extract information from these, just as much
for the experienced specialist as for the newcomer in unfamiliar territory. Two new supplementary volumes have
just appeared to join the series on the bookshelf.
Houben-Weyl. Methoden der Organischen Chemie. Vol. E
W P a r t s 1 and 2. Organo-n-metall-Verbindungen als
Hilfsmittel in der organischen Chemie. Edited by J.
Falbe. Thieme, Stuttgart 1986. DM 1580.00 (subscription
price D M 1422.00). Part 1: xxvii, pp. 1-749, bound,
ISBN 3-13-218804-2; Part 2: xv, pp. 750-1428, bound,
ISBN 3-13-21 8804-2
which deal with the use of organometallic complexes in
organic chemistry. After well over thirty years of produc1196
tive research in this field, it was high time that it should be
thoroughly reviewed from the organic chemist’s viewpoint.
Because of the large number of topics to be covered, working systematically through all the material has been a laborious and time-consuming task and it is to the credit of the
editor Jiirgen Falbe that these two new volumes have been
so rapidly written. The team of sixteen authors has covered
all the material, each from has own specialist viewpoint, in
1234 pages (not counting the indexes). They offer the user
well-informed summaries of the various aspects, and a
mine of information on experimental methods. Amongst
these the contributions on hydroformylation by B. Cornils
and L. Marko are outstanding.
However, the volumes fall short of the objective of being
a systematically ordered handbook, of the sort that we are
accustomed to in “Houben-Weyl”. This reviewer struggled
on bravely and hopefully through the chapters, at first
filled with curiosity, but then with teeth clenched, grim determination. This perseverance yielded only pages of notes
containing errata, inconsistencies, and information which
was sometimes incomprehensible. According to the jacket
synopsis, Part 1 describes preparative methods “arranged
according to the various hapto forms”. From the outset,
however, the book runs into trouble with the hapto nomenclature: as early as the contents list we find “qz-carbene
complexes”, an incorrect hapto form which is surpassed
on page 58 by “q3-carbynes”. This is definitely taking liberties with the system of nomenclature. Nowadays one expects such a handbook to use nomenclature which conforms to the Chemical Abstracts standards, but these two
volumes pay no regard to that. Here alkenyl ligands are
usually described by a dehydroolefin nomenclature which,
in the absence of a structural formula, is understood by
nobody-certainly not by the computer, judging by the
“q3-3-dehydro-cyclooctene”group (p. 1001). Elsewhere,
though, we find the more generally accepted form “q5-cyclopentadienyl-” rather than “dehydrocyclopentadiene”.
An amusing example found on page 850 is [q5-cyclopentadienyll-(q3-3-dehydro-cyclopentene)-nickel.On page 182 a
decision has even been made in favour of “q5-dehydropyrrolyl-”, whereas on page 228 the same ligand is called
“dehydropyrrole”. What is intended to be a guide through
the literature thus instead becomes a labyrinth from the
user’s point of view.
Presumably it was pressure of time that allowed the misprint gremlin to create havoc by changing “thorium” into
“thor”, inventing on page 481 a “tris-q‘-pyridine-rhodium”, transforming a q6-phenylborinato ligand into a qsligand, and showing CO+D,O in equilibrium with
CO, H (p. 659). The pressures given in the preparative
methods have mostly been converted to kPa, but sometimes incorrectly, as for example on page 1002. For variety,
though, they are sometimes measured in bar or torr, while
other obsolete units such as “Stde.” and “Schmp.” have
been allowed to pass uncorrected. By referring to an addition as a “silanation” (German : “Silanierung”) it becomes
instead a substitution, and alongside silylation we find also
“disilylation” (German: “Disilylierung”). As for the possible meanings of the (German) words “Carborierung” and
“Hydrocarborierung” which have been coined in the list of
contents, we can discover them only by studying the relevant chapter in Part 2.
Theophrastus Parucelsus, commenting in 1538 on the
chemical literature of his day, wrote in his Labyrinthus
Medicorum “Die Tintenbucher haben kein Kunst in ihnen,
sondern Sudelns und Kudelns durch einander und machen
dann Schwaderlappen, dal3 die Sau lieber Dreck fressen,
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 26 (1987) No 1 I
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