Carbon-rich compounds: from molecules to materials

Carbon-rich compounds: from molecules to materials 

M M Haley and R R Tykwinski (eds) 

Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH 2006 | 664pp | ?115 (HB) | ISBN 3527312242 

Reviewed by Kyriakos Porfyrakis

The origins of research on carbon-rich compounds (other than graphite or diamond) go back to the 19th century with the isolation of various polycycles such as naphthalene and anthracene.  

This book offers a comprehensive review of the chemistry of carbon-rich compounds which is still going strong over a century later. Indeed, the discovery of fullerenes and carbon nanotubes has led to an explosion of scientific research that will continue for years to come. 

I often find that monographs written by a collection of different authors can be somewhat fragmented and lack a coherent theme running through. Although not completely immune to this problem, the book manages to steer through a maze of chemical reactions and schemes without losing its focus on the synthesis and properties of compounds ranging from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and macrocycles to polyynes, conjugated oligomers and fullerenes.  

I particularly like the way that each experimental chapter closes with a selection of experimental procedures representative of the compounds described previously. 

Perhaps the only criticism I would draw is the very limited content on the chemical functionalisation of carbon nanotubes, a fairly new research area that is already starting to make an impact on the field. 

The text is clearly written and the synthetic schemes adequately explained. Its wealth of information and the extensive bibliography make this book a good companion to the graduate student, the synthetic chemist or the chemical technologist.