Thomas B. Rauchfuss, Editor-in-Chief: Inorganic Syntheses, Volume 35
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- Kauffman, G.B. Found Chem (2013) 15: 121. doi:10.1007/s10698-011-9139-4
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This popular series, designed “to provide all users of inorganic substances with detailed and reliable procedures for the preparation of important and timely compounds”, plays an extremely important role in the burgeoning literature of inorganic chemistry. Because each preparation is experimentally checked independently for reproducibility and yield in a laboratory other than that of the submitters and the sources of reagents are given, Inorganic Syntheses is recognized worldwide as the primary source for the preparation of a multitude of useful inorganic substances. The series is a truly international undertaking; this volume includes 109 submitters and checkers from academic and governmental laboratories in 15 countries. Furthermore, because it includes substances not only traditionally considered inorganic but also those of concern to workers in other fields, it is of interest to the entire scientific community.
This latest volume in the series, which Thomas B. Rauchfuss of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign has dedicated “to the memory of Alan M. Sargeson (1930–2008), a frequent contributor to Inorganic Syntheses, inspired chemist, and gentleman”, continues the pattern of recent volumes, viz., “specific thematic chapters along with other contributions that together reflect the diversity of inorganic synthetic activities in modern research.” The volume begins with a dedication section (pp. xv–xx) featuring brief biographies by yours truly of five deceased former Inorganic Syntheses editors-in-chief—Robert W. Parry, Frank Albert (“Al”) Cotton, Fred Basolo, Alan G. MacDiarmid, and Stanley Kirschner.
The volume under review includes procedures for preparing 102 individual substances, collected in 41 numbered sections in nine chapters.
Chapter 1, “Compounds of Bulky β-Diketiminate Ligands” (55 pp.; the longest chapter; 16 sections; 30 compounds), features representative procedures for the preparation of NacNac complexes of metals of the first transition series (scandium to zinc) that represent versatile platforms for a variety of transformations. 1-3-diketimines are often referred to as “HNacNac”, a modification of the abbreviation “Hacac” used for α, β-diketones, and have been used for preparing so-called post-metallocene catalysts for the polymerization and copolymerization of ethylene and alkenes. Derivatives with large aryl or alkyl groups can be used to stabilize low-valent main group and transition metal complexes.
Chapter 2, “Boron Cluster Compounds” (11 pp.; the shortest chapter; 2 sections; 4 compounds), includes syntheses of the remarkable radical [B12(CH3)12] and the hydrophilic [B12(OH)12]2− ion. Chapter 3, “Coordination Compounds” (37 pp.; 3 sections; 7 compounds), focuses on several versatile coordination complexes such as pentaaquanitrosylchromium sulfate.
Chapter 4, “Carbene Ligands and Complexes” (14 pp.; 3 sections; 9 compounds), deals with N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs), which, during the past decade, have garnered considerable interest as spectator ligands in organometallic chemistry, especially as alternatives to phosphine ligands in homogeneous catalysis.
Chapter 5, “Functional Ligands and Complexes” (17 pp.; 3 sections; 11 compounds), includes preparations for redox-active non-innocent designer ligands; mixed donor ligands; and metal–organic frameworks (MOFs), a new class of porous crystalline materials for which it is possible to design materials constructed from rigid organic molecules as struts and shape-directing metal clusters as joints to achieve predetermined structures.
Chapter 6, “Organometallic Reagents” (20 pp.; 4 sections; 11 compounds), contains preparations for tripodal ligands, manganese tricarbonyl transfer (MTT) agents, Kläui’s metalloligand, and other synthetically useful substances. Chapter 7, “Bio-Inspired Iron and Nickel Complexes” (19 pp.; 4 sections; 12 compounds), includes syntheses for useful starting materials for a variety of reactions.
Chapter 8, “Ruthenium Complexes” (16 pp.; 4 sections; 8 compounds), and Chapter 9, “Iridium Complexes” (15 pp.; 3 sections; 10 compounds), feature platinum metal reagents that straddle the inorganic and organic domains, including complexes of interest in the area of solar energy research, novel luminescent compounds, and mixed valence compounds.
Many of the preparations involve starting materials or products that are flammable; lachrymatory; irritating; noxious; air-, moisture-, or temperature-sensitive; toxic; pyrophoric; corrosive; carcinogenic; or potentially explosive, but any hazards are specifically identified, and safety precautions are emphasized with a special symbol ■. The volume is replete with detailed diagrams of the frequently complicated apparatus or equipment required for many of the preparations, some of which involve time-consuming procedures and most of which pose a real challenge for even experienced students. Thus many of the syntheses will probably lie beyond the resources of many college and university laboratories. Aside from the minor complaint of the paucity of preparations suitable for undergraduate use, I recommend this volume, which maintains the high standards set by its predecessors, for providing researchers with reproducible syntheses for a variety of interesting compounds.