Molecular organic materials: from molecules to crystalline solids

Molecular organic materials: from molecules to crystalline solids 

Jordi Fraxedas 

Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press 2006 | 356pp | ?65 | ISBN 0521834465 

Reviewed by Graeme Cooke

Molecular organic materials have received an enormous amount of attention over the past decade or so and it is timely that this interdisciplinary branch of science is summarised in a single text. In this book, the author has endeavoured to introduce the fascinating topic of molecular organic materials to a wide audience of scientists, from beginners to experts.  

The first chapter introduces key concepts relating to the structure and properties of important types of organic materials. The author also includes chapters on the synthesis of molecular materials, crystal engineering, deposition at interfaces, and physical properties. Throughout the text, emphasis is placed upon the importance of depositing and studying molecular organic materials at surfaces.  

The synthesis section is particularly noteworthy, as it is often overlooked in texts of this type. Furthermore, the author has chosen to subdivide the molecular building blocks according to their shape (eg pentagons and hexagons). This is an interesting approach, and although only a few selected examples are included, it does successfully convey to the reader the important role that molecular size and shape have in the design and properties of molecular materials. All of the chapters are well written and appear to be adequately referenced. 

The author has made a good attempt at writing a concise guide to molecular materials. The topic could have been the main focus of a multi-volume series, and as a consequence some important topics have had to be omitted. Furthermore, some of the diagrams, particularly the complicated x-ray crystal structures, would have benefited from colour illustrations.  

However, overall the author has made a very commendable attempt to encompass the important aspects of molecular organic materials in a single text. I would recommend the text as a useful introduction to this fascinating branch of contemporary science, and I am sure it will prove to be of significant value to a wide range of scientists with interests in this area.