Metallic systems: a quantum chemist's perspective

Metallic systems: a quantum chemist’s perspective

Thomas Allison, Orkid Coskuner, Carlos Gonzalez (Eds) 

Boca Raton, US: CRC Press 2011 | 432pp | ?95 (HB) 

ISBN 9781420060775 

Reviewed by Michael B?hl


From the title I was expecting a focused book on systems exhibiting metallic bonding. The contents and introduction pages make clear, however, that the editors have a rather broader view, including all systems that contain one or more metal atoms. Thus, just three chapters of the book are dealing with the truly metallic bulk, five are devoted to the coordination chemistry of metal ions in solution and in solid oxides, and three to small(ish) metal clusters in the gas phase. 

All the chapters are essentially stand alone reviews of quantum chemical calculations on well defined topics, written by active practitioners in the field. Many of these reviews contain brief introductions to the methods, mostly geared toward a general chemical audience. As such collections tend to go, the quality and scope of the different articles are rather variable, and not every reader will be equally interested in all of them. 

I found one review of a specific class of peptides rather too biochemistry-oriented, as it touches on metal ions only briefly. Another one on Fe(III)-sugar complexes highlights some computational results that do not seem entirely convincing to me (ie claiming a highly unlikely coordination mode about the metal under scrutiny). On the plus side, the chapters on periodic calculations are useful to learn more about quantum chemistry beyond discrete molecules, one of them being a particularly commendable primer on periodic density functional theory calculations of bulk metals and metal surfaces. 

Overall, the individual chapters are clearly written and well referenced. There is little crossreferencing between the reviews, and although the index enhances the value of the book, many interested readers may find it more advantageous to purchase electronic versions of selected chapters individually.