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Comprehensive Coordination Chemistry II. 10-volume set. Edited by Jon A. McCleverty and Thomas J. Meyer

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Comprehensive Coordination
Chemistry II
10-volume set.
Edited by Jon A.
McCleverty and
Thomas J. Meyer.
Elsevier Science,
Amsterdam 2003.
ca. 9000 pp., hardcover E 6274.00.—
ISBN 0-08-043748-6
Today, over 100 years since the theory of
coordination compounds was developed
by Alfred Werner, modern coordination
chemistry constitutes an enormous
amount of knowledge and understanding. Moreover, the great variety of
known coordination compounds, methods, theories, and applications gives the
subject a considerable interdisciplinary
character, through the involvement of
coordination chemistry in fields such as
the biosciences, nanotechnology, and
materials science. Thus, it is high time
that we should have a comprehensive
description of all these developments!
In these ten volumes the editors, Jon
McCleverty and Thomas Meyer, have
set out to provide a clear and comprehensive description of modern coordination chemistry, now a greatly expanded
field of research, with the help of internationally recognized experts. It builds
on the foundation of the classic work
Comprehensive Coordination Chemistry, published in 1987, and aims to give
expert and competent descriptions and
critical discussions of recent developments in coordination chemistry since
What does “CCC II” offer the
reader? An almost inconceivable
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 3875 – 3877
amount of material, collected together
in 200 articles by more than 200 authors.
Even the list of contents would be too
long to include in this review, and therefore the reviewer must try to give the
reader a view of the work as a whole.
Volume 1 (Fundamentals) is concerned with the basic principles which
have become increasingly important
during the last 20 years. However, the
articles go far beyond simple (and
often too brief) textbook-style presentations. The various aspects discussed
include ligands, reactions of coordinated
ligands, stereochemistry, new methods
of synthesis, physical methods of characterization, and the increasingly important topics of theoretical models and
computer methods. It ends with some
very useful and instructive case studies
of special types of coordination compounds and their characterization.
Volume 2 (Coordination Chemistry
of the s, p and f Metals) consists of
seven chapters that describe the latest
developments in the coordination
chemistry of the metals of the alkali,
alkaline-earth, III, IV, and V groups,
and of the lanthanides and actinides.
Volumes 3–5 cover the coordination
chemistry of the d-block transition
metals. Volume 3 (Transition Metal
Groups 3–6) treats the coordination
compounds of the early transition
metals, and has additional chapters on
binuclear compounds with metal–metal
bonds, on polyoxoanions, and on chalcogenide metal clusters. Volume 4, Transition Metal Groups 7 and 8, deals with
complexes of the metals of those
groups, and Volume 5 (Transition Metal
Groups 9–12) with complexes of the
late transition metals.
Because of the nature of their subjects, the articles on ligands (Vol. 1)
and on the various metals (Vols. 2–5)
tend to have the character of encyclopedic lists. Nevertheless, despite that
unavoidable necessity and also the difficulty (!) of the material, the enthusiasm
of the authors for their special topics
comes through clearly.
The last four volumes are devoted to
aspects of coordination chemistry that
are expected to yield advances with
important future potential: nanotechnology (Vol. 6, From the Molecular to
the Nanoscale: Synthesis and Structure;
Vol. 7, Properties), biology (Vol. 8,
coordination Chemistry), and applications (Vol. 9, Applications of Coordination Chemistry).
The synthesis and structures of
large-molecule cluster compounds,
semiconductors, metallic and magnetic
clusters, coordination polymers, supramolecular systems, and metallomesogens are covered in Volume 6, while
the electron transfer and magnetic properties of coordination compounds are
treated in Volume 7 with a high level
of competence and—as is especially
important for these complex topics—in
an understandable way. The importance
of coordination chemistry in biology is
demonstrated impressively in Volume
8: cytochromes, iron–sulfur clusters,
cation recognition and transport, siderophores, ferritins, copper enzymes, and
nitrogen fixation are just a few of the
29 current areas of bioinorganic
research that are described. The applications of coordination compounds
(Volume 9) now extend into many different areas, from catalysts to materials
to medical science and biochemistry.
The articles in this volume emphasize
the interdisciplinary character of coordination chemistry.
These nine volumes provide plenty
of evidence that coordination compounds are esthetically appealing, intellectually challenging, and ripe for the
development of new applications.
In addition to the indexes provided
in each individual volume, Volume 10
contains a cumulative subject index.
This arrangement allows a given keyword to appear in different contexts,
and also reveals connections between
the individual chapters. These advantages certainly result from the enormous
painstaking work of the editors, who
have taken the many different aspects
of modern coordination chemistry and
put them together to make a collected
work that is comprehensive and internally consistent. However, it would
have been useful if, in addition to this
cumulative subject index, the individual
authors had provided more cross-references to related contributions by other
A work of this size inevitably contains a few errors and inconsistencies.
However, these are surprisingly and
pleasingly small in number, helped by
the fact that the individual topics have
( 2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
been covered by leading experts in each
field. Although the figures and formula
schemes are not entirely uniform in
style, they are clearly readable and
well presented. The work is satisfactorily up-to-date, covering publications
up to 2002.
In summary, “CCC II” offers a comprehensive and expertly prepared
description of the most important
aspects of modern coordination chemistry in a space of “only” 9000 pages. This
work will make it much easier for the
user to approach a new topic in coordination chemistry. It also contains a
great wealth of material that is ideally
suited for use in teaching advanced students—an option that this reviewer has
already found valuable several times.
It seems certain that this work will
remain a standard compendium on coordination chemistry for some years to
come. Therefore, “CCC II” will definitely have a secure place in the libraries
of departments that are involved with
coordination chemistry.
Katja Heinze
Anorganisch-Chemisches Institut
Universit2t Heidelberg (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200385137
The Chemistry of Heterocycles
Structures, Reactions, Synthesis,
and Applications.
2nd Edition. By
Theophil Eicher and
Siegfried Hauptmann. Wiley-VCH,
Weinheim 2003.
556 pp., softcover
E 65.00.—ISBN
About one-half of the 20 million chemical compounds currently registered contain one or more heterocyclic rings, so
we are informed by Professors Eicher
and Hauptmann in the preface to the
second edition of their book The
Chemistry of Heterocycles. “What is to
be included”, they ask, “in an introductory book on heterocyclic chemistry
which does not aim to be an encyclopaedia?” The short answer, it would seem,
is much the same as in all the other
300–500-page books on heterocyclic
chemistry currently competing for your
student book-grant or library budget.
Eicher and Hauptman evidently aim
to reach a wide audience with this book,
which is “designed for the advanced student and research worker, and also for
the industrial chemist looking for a
survey of well-tried fundamental concepts, as well as for information on
modern developments in heterocyclic
chemistry”. The authors have clearly
taken on a difficult task in trying to summarize an often irrational and anecdotal
subject area for such a diverse audience.
The Chemistry of Heterocycles commences with a useful introduction to the
nomenclature of heterocyclic chemistry,
beginning with the familiar Hantzsch–
Widman system for naming mono- and
bicyclic systems, followed by a couple
of pages each on the replacement and
systematic nomenclatures. The authors
then structure the remaining seven
chapters of their book in a very conventional fashion: 21 pages on three-membered rings; 14 pages on four-membered
rings; 167 pages on five-membered
rings; 236 pages on six-membered
rings; 18 pages on seven-membered
rings; 16 pages on larger rings; and a
concluding chapter of problems. Each
chapter is divided into sections dealing
with the various ring systems (furan,
thiazole, pyrrolidine …), which in turn
are subdivided into sections on “Structure, Physical and Spectroscopic Properties”; “Chemical Properties and Reactions”; “Syntheses”; “Important Derivatives, etc”; and “Uses as Reagents or
Auxiliaries in Organic Synthesis”.
This logical structure, together with
a comprehensive and intelligently compiled index, makes finding information
(or determining that itDs not there)
quick and easy. In the sections on the
major heterocycles, for example, the
subsection on “Structure, Physical and
Spectroscopic Properties” comprises an
academic description of the parent heterocycle: its ionization potential, dipole
moment, calculated electron densities
for each atom, pKa value, NMR properties, and even occasional orbital dia-
( 2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
grams and HOMO/LUMO discussions;
all information that is hard to find elsewhere and even harder to remember.
In the “Chemical Properties and Reactions” subsection, the authors give a
brief but comprehensive survey of the
basic traits of the heterocycle, usually
grouped under headings such as electrophilic substitution, nucleophilic substitution, and ring-opening reactions. Comparative statements such as “thiophene
reacts more slowly than furan but
faster than benzene”, or “indoles are
less reactive than pyrroles”, or frank distillations of fact such as “C-alkylation of
indoles gives mixtures of products”, are
particularly welcome, providing an
instant reminder for an experienced
chemist or a simple nugget of information for a student. The “Syntheses” section is usually adequate, but too much
emphasis is given to historical reactions
and not enough prominence given to
some modern methods of synthesis. For
example: the Jacobsen epoxidation is
not mentioned; the Diels–Alder/retroDiels–Alder conversion of tetrazines
into pyridazines is not fully explored;
PadwaDs use of mInchnones to make
pyridones, the use of azomethine ylids
to make pyrrolidines, and the combination of directed ortho-metalation and
cross-couplings to elaborate simple heterocycles
into more complicated ones would all
be valuable additions. The “Important
Derivatives …” and “Uses as Reagents
.. in Organic Synthesis” subsections provide general information on the parent
heterocycle and its derivatives, usually
with a few predictable examples from
natural products or the pharmaceutical
industry. While this classification works
well for the major heterocycles, it struggles for the more esoteric ones for which
there is not really much knowledge of
general interest. For example, the most
interesting reaction in the “Uses as
Reagents …” section for 1,2,3-thiadiazole is that flash pyrolysis of 1,2,3-selenadiazoles gives metallic selenium,
nitrogen gas, and an alkyne.
Some heterocycles seem strangely
over-emphasized: phosphabenzene, for
example, merits nearly five pages, only
half a page less than piperidine and
twice as much as pyrrolidine, while 1,2dithiete, 1,2-dihydro-1,2-diazete, and
1,2-diazetidine (all of which are so
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 3875 – 3877
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chemistry, volume, comprehension, jon, coordination, thomas, edited, meyer, mccleverty, set
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