Nanochemistry: a chemical approach to nanomaterials

Nanochemistry: a chemical approach to nanomaterials 
Geoffrey Ozin and Andre Arsenault  
Cambridge, UK: RSC | 2005 | 628 pp | ?39.95 (HB) | ISBN 085404664x 
Reviewed by Michael Gross 

Nanotechnology is very interdisciplinary. It involves methods borrowed from physics, chemistry and biology, and has ambitions that reach deep into medicine and engineering, to name but a few of the disciplines it spans. With this breadth of the topic comes a communication challenge, because specialists trained in any of these disciplines will have to forgo their specific jargon and make themselves understood by nanoenthusiasts with a different background.  


Following several attempts by physicists and application-oriented people, this appears to be the first textbook of the new nanosciences written from the perspective of chemists. Based on a course he developed at the University of Toronto, Geoffrey Ozin wrote this text with his student, Andr? Arsenault. The result comes lavishly equipped with many full-colour illustrations, some 2000 references, lists of thoughtful questions, and home-made cartoons.  

The bulkiest of the 13 chapters covers one-dimensional nano constructs such as rods, tubes and wires. Other chapters are dedicated to topics such as microspheres, nanoclusters, and printing techniques. Biologically inspired approaches, no matter whether structural or functional, are together in one chapter towards the end. An intriguing miscellany of interesting topics is stowed away in seven appendices.  

All in all this is a brave effort to capture a very fast-moving young research field and tie it up in a text book format. Mysteriously, the text is not as readable and engaging as one might have hoped given its presentation and the general excitement surrounding the subject matter. But time will tell whether it manages to establish itself in the favour of students and their tutors. If it does, the authors will have a lot of work keeping it up to date.