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Introduction to Nanotechnology. By Charles P. Poole Jr. and Frank J

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dioxide—for example, supercritical
However, the above criticisms do
not seriously detract from the value of
the book: it is a convenient and effective
book giving a good introduction to the
possibilities and problems of new reaction media. Or, as Jo states in his preface, “After all: we all need more efficient and less hazardous chemical processes. And for that reason we all need
the use of alternative solvents”.
Boy Cornils
Hofheim/Taunus (Germany)
Keynotes in Organic Chemistry
By Andrew F. Parsons. Blackwell,
Oxford 2003.
230 pp., softcover
£ 13.99.—ISBN
The number of organic chemistry textbooks intended for first-year university
students has increased during the last
few years. In addition to well-proven
standard texts, some of which have
appeared in new editions, there are
others that are gaining acceptance and
are being recommended by lecturers. A
typical modern organic chemistry textbook is quite comprehensive and uses
color in an attractive way. All important
aspects of the subject are explained
clearly with the help of examples, and
an accompanying CD-ROM may provide animations and answers to the exercise problems. One might well assume
that the perfect organic chemistry textbook has already been written. Keynotes
in Organic Chemistry, a pocket-sized
paperback publication of only 230
pages, cannot compete with the standard
textbooks, nor is it intended to. Instead
the author wanted to provide a compact
summary of the basic facts of organic
chemistry, as an aid to revision and preparing for examinations. That is certainly a good idea, especially in view of
the growing trend towards modular
courses with more frequent examinations. Similar publications are available
in German (Memofix Organische
Chemie, from Wiley-VCH) and in Italian (L'Essenziale di Chimica Organica,
from Zanchelli).
What does this book offer? In the
list of contents we find a conventional
sequence of chapter titles. An introduction to bonding theory, nomenclature,
basic stereochemistry, reactivity, and
reaction mechanisms is followed by
five chapters devoted to the properties
and reactions of important classes of
compounds. These follow a conventional sequence, from alkyl halides,
alkenes, and alkynes, through to
arenes, and then to carbonyl compounds. A further chapter deals with
the basic principles of spectroscopy
(UV, IR, NMR, and MS). Data on typical IR absorption bands and NMR
chemical shifts for important functional
groups are listed in tables, some of
which are in the appendix. The main
text ends with a short chapter on natural
products and polymers. At the end of
each chapter there are exercise problems, and answers are given in the
appendix. The author has made an
effort to present the material clearly
and to limit the text to what is essential
(“pictures speak louder than words”).
This often works very well, although
not always: for example, the figures
showing the hybridization of carbon
bonds are not very clear, and on the subject of nomenclature the student's
understanding would have benefited
from more examples. In many cases
the efforts to convey facts in visual
form would have been more successful
if color had been used. The detailed
list of contents enables one to quickly
find a desired topic, but owing to the
deliberate brevity of the treatment one
does not always find everything that
one is seeking. For example, one would
have to go elsewhere to find information
about the synthesis of amines.
The book fulfills its aim of providing
a short summary of organic chemistry
for revision purposes, but the content
does not extend much beyond the intro-
9 2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
ductory lecture level, and the reader
must be already familiar with the essentials of the subject. Whether to simply
reach for a big comprehensive textbook
and extract the summary material
needed to prepare for an examination,
or to rely on a ready-made summary
such as this, is a matter for each student
to decide. The only important question
concerns the soundness of one's underlying knowledge of organic chemistry.
Stefan Miltschitzky, Burkhard Knig
Institut f.r Organische Chemie
Universit2t Regensburg (Germany)
Introduction to Nanotechnology
By Charles P.
Poole, Jr. and
Frank J. Owens.
New York 2003.
320 pp., hardcover
E 79.00.—ISBN
Nanotechnology includes the production, characterization, and applications
of materials that have dimensions
smaller than 100 nm in at least one direction. Charles P. Poole and Frank J.
Owens have set out to present this very
interdisciplinary field of research concisely, but comprehensively, in such a
way as to give outsiders with a scientific
background an overview of the basic
principles of the wide-ranging subject.
The book has been written in such a
way that the chapters can be read independently of each other. To achieve
the aims of the book, it was necessary
to treat the basic facts of the individual
topics at a very elementary level. Thus,
to take an example suggested by the
authors, the subject should be presented
in such a way that a solid-state physicist
who does not know the difference
between an amino acid and a protein
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 2195 – 2197
should be able to understand the chapter about biological nanostructures.
Nanoscale functional units are
involved in some way or another in
most physical, chemical, or biological
processes, from catalysis to human
metabolism to field-effect transistors.
They have unusual chemical, physical,
and biological properties that are not
found in ordinary bulk materials. Thus,
the methods and results of nanotechnology alter the profile of practically all the
traditional natural and of many engineering sciences. Because of the very
wide-ranging scope of research in nanotechnology, its fast-moving nature, and
the impossibility of precisely defining
the boundaries of the subject, a really
exhaustive presentation of the field is
practically unachievable. Therefore, the
authors have limited their treatment to
some selected aspects that they regard
as representing the subject as a whole.
The main emphasis is on nanostructured
inorganic materials, and is more on their
physical properties than on methods of
producing them.
Therefore the authors choose classical solid-state physics as their startingpoint for introducing nanotechnology.
Following an introductory chapter,
Chapter 2 provides a short introduction
to the elementary principles, then Chapter 3 contains an equally brief survey of
the microscopic and spectroscopic methods used for the characterization of
nanosystems. The next six chapters
deal with the structural, optical, electronic, mechanical, and chemical properties of different types of nanostruc-
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2004, 43, 2195 – 2197
tured inorganic materials. These range
from nanocrystallites of metals and
semiconductors through carbon nanotubes, noble gas clusters, and ferroelectrics, to nanostructured bulk materials.
Throughout this the authors explain
basic principles that can also be easily
understood by chemists and biologists.
However, the descriptions contain a
few minor weaknesses of presentation:
for example, in the discussion of X-ray
diffraction methods in Chapter 3 the
authors avoid the well-known phase
problem, and also the use of the word
“spectrum” in connection with X-ray
diffractograms is inappropriate.
Chapter 10 is concerned with the
fundamental concept of self-assembly
and with nanostructured catalysts. It is
a challenging task to discuss concisely
“self-assembly”, since this term is often
used in a different way in the different
disciplines contributing to nanoscience.
On this subject the authors limit their
treatment to a brief description of the
principle, and as examples they discuss
the growth of structured semiconductor
films and self-assembled monolayers.
In the following chapters, which deal
with “soft” matter, they give several
more examples where this is appropriate. The subject of catalysis is
approached through the discussion of
mesoporous materials which, on the
one hand, are produced by self-assembly, and on the other hand have
extremely large specific surface areas.
Relatively little space is devoted to
the discussion of nanostructured organic
and biological materials. Unfortunately
the discussion of synthetic polymers in
the first part of Chapter 11 contains a
few defects of presentation. In contrast,
the second part, which deals with supramolecular architectures, is very much
better. Many readers will feel that the
synthesis of these structures does not
belong to “classical” nanotechnology,
but nevertheless it is an ideal example
of a “bottom-up” approach. Chapter 12
contains a very brief discussion of biological nanostructures, then the last
chapter presents examples of nanomachines and functional nanostructures.
The authors did not set out to
describe the very latest developments
in this field (which would in any case
soon be overtaken). Instead they
intended to give scientists and decision-makers an interdisciplinary introduction that overcomes the deep psychological barrier between neighboring
disciplines. Unfortunately, in a few
cases the chemical fundamentals are
not very well presented. On the whole,
however, the authors have achieved
their aims and have hit the right tone
and level of treatment. The book
should also be suitable for advanced students of chemistry and physics who are
interested in the field and would like
to get an overview of it.
Martin Steinhart
Max Planck Institute of Microstructure
Halle/Saale (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200385124
9 2004 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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introduction, charles, nanotechnologie, pool, frank
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