Fascinating molecules in organic chemistry

Fascinating molecules in organic chemistry

concatenations’ by Greenwood, and chapter 22, ‘Nomenclature of inorganic ring systems’ by Haiduc, there is a selection of contributions reviewing an a...

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concatenations’ by Greenwood, and chapter 22, ‘Nomenclature of inorganic ring systems’ by Haiduc, there is a selection of contributions reviewing an area of chemistry or presenting the most recent findings of the authors covering preparation, reactions, structure or bonding considerations. Consequently, the indepth coverage is variable but a broad overview of the subject is gained. Undoubtedly, the most useful aspect of such volumes is to remind the chapter authors where they were at a point in time, to provide essential reading with up-to-date literature, including over 1100 references, for their future students and other interested chemists and to show scientists at large that such an area of chemistry is alive and well. IRIS VII is planned for 1994 in Banff, Canada. Kenneth Jones Crown Ethers and Analogous Compounds. Studies in Organic Chemistry Volume 45. Edited by M. Hiraoka. Pp. 496. Elsevier. 1992. US $228.50 ISBN 0 444 81913. The book aims to present current knowledge in one of the major new areas of chemistry set in motion by C. .I. Pedersen’s 1967 publications on crown ethers at the end of its first quarter century. The Editor provides the first, orienting chapter and there then follow two chapters on synthesis, one of them (M. Okahara and Y. Nakatsuji containing 410 references) very comprehensive, covering published synthetic routes, the next (H. Tsukube, 175 references) describing general guidelines for design of compounds for particular purposes, including membrane transport. These two chapters, together with the detailed discussion of macrocyclic polyamines in chapter 8 by E. Kimura (the field for which he has just been awarded the 1992 Izatt-Christensen award), comprise three-fifths of the book. There are also four shorter chapters on applications; K. Kimura and T. Shono describe crown applications in ion-selective electrodes and liquid chromatography; S. Sasaki and K. Koga describe enzyme modelling; T. Kaneda gives a clear description of the requirements for complexation with chromogenic acerands, with many detailed examples, and S. Shinkai explains the ‘switching’ of crown ethers, now playing such a wide role in responding to stimuli such as pH, electrochemical, and photochemical switching. However, the publication of this book has clearly taken some time; the references (1129 in all) stop at the end of 1988. The book will be helpful for advanced researchers in the field as a source of information. Joyce C. Lockhart Capillary Electrophoresis. By S. F. Y. Li. Pp. 586. Elsevier. 1992. Hardback $225.50 ISBN 0 444 89433 0. Intensive research into Capillary Electrophoresis (C.E.) over about the last 12 years has culminated in the publication of this, the first book on the subject. The author has performed a thorough survey of the literature and presented his findings in eight chapters, drawing heavily on the reports in the original papers. He has reviewed the background to the variety of elec44

trophoretic methods and the factors driving the separation. A critical survey of the principal components of the equipment for C.E. - viz. sample introduction devices, detection techniques, and capillary technology - is presented, followed by a discussion on electrolyte systems and special methods of approach and, importantly, a section indicating the sample types to which the method has been applied. The final chapter surveys the publications which have appeared up to April 1992 and the last section lists the publications which will appear in J. Chromotog. in 1992. Nearly 1100 papers have been cited, although there is some duplication in the references between chapters. This is a substantial book and has been well produced with, for most part, clear diagrams and figures. There is a significant number of trivial errors, which is surprising in a book of this quality. On page 260 in table 5.9 the solubility of pcyclodextrin in water should be 18.5g 1100 ml-r. There is no doubt that this book is a prime source of information both for newcomers and for those versed in the technique. It is strongly recommended. C. F. Simpson Physical Chemistry. By R. A. Alberty and R. J. Silbey. Pp. 898. Wiley. 1992. Paperback f 19.95 ISBN 0 47155220 8. This book can be warmly recommended as an instructive text including all major aspects of physical chemistry to BSc. level. The subject is explained in a coherent and integrated manner that is based on extended experience in the field. This ‘first edition’ derives from its successful predecessor (Daniels and Alberty, Physical Chemistry), so that it is in effect a sixteenth edition with antecedents going back to 1913. The content is presented in four parts (thermodynamics, quantum mechanics and spectroscopy, statistical mechanics and kinetics and macroscopic and microscopic structures). The short introductions to each part provide unifying perspectives on the overall subject together with the inter-relationships between its parts. About 800 pages of text are illustrated by 356 line drawings and the presentations of theory include 244 worked examples together with many problems at the end of each chapter. An introductory note explains the rationale of SI units which are consistently applied to the ‘over 300 physical quantities’ mentioned. While chapter titles and sub-indices were useful, I found the end-index very disappointing. I also noticed some misprints. This edition is to be welcomed as a worthy continuation of a wellestablished text. It is good value at less than f20. Andrew K. Galwey

Fascinating Molecules in Organic Chemistry. By Fritz Vtigtle. Pp. 304 Wiley. 1992. f75.00 ISBN 0 47193147 0. This book, and its companion volume Supramolecular Chemistry (Wiley, 1991), are based on lectures given by Professor Vbgtle at Bonn University. He focuses mainly on compounds of particular structural interest. This volume considers polyhedral systems (tetrahedrane,

cubane, dodecahedrane, adamantane, pagodane and propellants), assorted ring systems (azulene, biphenylene, circulenes and helicenes), triptycenes, cyclophanes, phthalocyanines and (somewhat incongruously) aspirin. The treatment is illustrative rather than comprehensive, the author explaining how compounds with strained/intricate structures may be prepared. Thus one can learn much useful synthetic chemistry from this book, and see what sorts of system are now accessible. The treatment is inevitably patchy: I was disappointed by the introductory chapter on shapes and symmetry, and by the sections on tetrahedranes and biphenylenes. The fullerenes, which admittedly came on the scene only as Professor Vogtle was completing his book, merit fuller treatment than they get here, and the reference to the icosahedron in the introductory chapter is disappointingly not followed up later by reference to carboranes. Although cyclopropenium cations are discussed, pyramidal carbocations (C,H,+, C&Ie,2+) and, indeed, hypercarbon chemistry in general, are ignored. However, these are carps from an inorganiclorganometallic viewpoint, where the scope for structural diversity is so much greater than in mainstream organic chemistry. This book will help to convey some of the excitement chemists get from assembling pleasing shapes from the construction kit in which carbon and other atoms are the components. K. Wade Electron Flow in Organic Chemistry. By P. H. Scudder. Pp. 374. Wiley. Paperback, f 12.95 ISBN 0 47157366 3. If you understand the sense in which electrons can be considered to flow, then the philosophy of this quite remarkable book will at once become clear. It is electron density in covalent bonds that holds together the atoms that make up organic molecules. When chemical reactions occur, these bonds change and the electron density distribution changes too. This movement of electron density holds the key to understanding why organic transformations take the course they do. Students attempting to master this subject face some severe difficulties which arise because of the great variety of issues that must be addressed at the same time as an organic mechanism problem is tackled. Here lies the strength of Paul Scudder’s book. The mechanism analysis problem is broken down into a series of iterative cycles (‘understand the system’, ‘find possible routes‘, ‘evaluate and cross-check’): obvious advice, perhaps, but nonetheless the key to the subject that so many students fail to find. These didactic steps are illustrated over and over with different mechanism examples. Some simple devices also impress. All the lone pairs are drawn around heteroatoms, with charges indicated separately beside the atom. This breaks ranks with many books but if carried though consistently is probably a clearer style. Reaction coordinates are explained by reference to a cross-section of a reactivity surface - definitely the simplest explanation of a concept that has puzzled many generations of organic chemistry students.