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Edited by L. S. Hegedus and B. C. G. Sderberg Transition Metals in the Synthesis of Complex Organic Molecules 3rd edn University Science Books Sausalito 2009 480 pp

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Book Review
Published online in Wiley Online Library: 15 February 2011
( DOI 10.1002/aoc.1769
Book Review
Transition Metals in the Synthesis of Complex Organic Molecules,
3rd edn
University Science Books, Sausalito, 2009, 480 pp.
price US$82.00
ISBN 978-1-891389-59-7, 2009,
Hardcover, 480 pages
This is the updated version of the
second edition of Hegedus’s book
on Transition Metals in the Synthesis of Complex Organic Molecules.
Professor Björn Söderberg was enlisted to carry out the bulk of the
revisions, due to the exponential
increase in the amount of literature in the field of transition metal
mediated reactions. The result is
a thorough updating of the examples in the text and covers the
literature up to 2007, with one or
two references from 2008. The overall structure of the book has
remained the same. The text is large and easy to read, with a
good ratio of text to schemes on each page. There were no noticeable mistakes in the schemes, with most including the reagents,
yields and solvents. However, reaction temperatures are only given
The book is intended for advanced undergraduate or graduate
students studying applications of transition metals in organic
synthesis, as well as all synthetic organic chemists who utilize these
reactions in their work. It should also be useful to organometallic
and inorganic chemists who wish to get a wide-ranging overview
of the use of transition metal mediated reactions in natural
product synthesis. However, the book is unsuitable for those
organometallic chemists looking for a detailed overview on
reaction mechanisms, or reactions beyond the standard reaction
conditions, e.g. the use of solvents such as supercritical fluids or
ionic liquids is not covered.
The first two chapters remain largely unchanged and provide
a brief introduction to the basics of organometallic chemistry,
touching on electron counting, ligand bonding and basic
reaction mechanisms. The remaining chapters cover the synthetic
applications of transition metal complexes, and are divided by
metal complex class. This seems slightly at odds with the intended
audience of organic chemists who are more likely to think in terms
of the bonds broken or formed in a given reaction, rather than
the specific metal intermediate. A casual reader might easily be
put off perusing further. The index, however, is comprehensive
enough to allow easy searching, especially for reactions known
more commonly by name rather than the metal complex involved
(one notable exception is ‘Hartwig–Buchwald coupling’, although
this can be easily found under ‘amines’ and the sub-title ‘metalcatalyzed reactions with organic halides and triflates’).
In chapters 5, 7, 9 and 10, which cover carbonyl, alkene, allyl and
arene metal complexes, respectively, only minor revisions have
been made. For example, hydroformylation and hydroacylation
have been highlighted in chapter 5. Chapter 9 has been extended
to include propargylic substrates and more examples given with
transition metals other than palladium. Chapter 6 deals with
metal–carbene complexes; the section on metathesis has been
developed further in line with its increasing use in natural product
synthesis. Chapters 3, 4 and 8 have been more extensively revised.
Chapter 3 covers metal hydride complexes and it has been
updated to include a section on transfer hydrogenation. The
section on hydrofunctionalization has been moved from chapter
4 to chapter 3, and the content expanded under metal hydride
alkene isomerisation. Chapter 4 has had numerous examples
added, which reflects the importance of σ -complexes, in particular
palladium complexes, in organic chemistry. Sections have been
added to highlight examples of Hartwig–Buchwald type reactions
and catalytic C–H activation processes. Chapter 8 covers alkyne
complexes and has been expanded to include some recent
examples of gold-catalysed transformations. Reactions involving
other metals such as rhodium, ruthenium, and platinum are
additionally covered.
Overall, the book is very reasonably priced and provides
excellent value. It is a useful introduction to the use of
organometallic chemistry in natural product synthesis. We would
highly recommend this book to all organic/synthetic chemists who
employ transition metals in their research.
Amanda G. Jarvis and Ian J. S. Fairlamb
University of York, UK
Appl. Organometal. Chem. 2011, 25, 638
c 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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complex, organiz, university, molecules, transitional, science, sderberg, sausalito, synthesis, 2009, book, 480, metali, hegedus, edited, edn, 3rd
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