Domino reactions in organic synthesis

Domino reactions in organic synthesis 

Lutz F Tietze, Gordon Brasche, Kersten Gericke 

Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH  | 2006 | 617pp | ?115.00 |ISBN 3527290605 

Reviewed by Russ Bowman

We have all played the game of dominoes and also placed them upright in a line so that they fall over one after the other with one initial push. There is no reason why the same protocol should not be considered with chemical reactions - one push and a series of reactions take place without the need for work-up or purification. The authors of Domino reactions  lucidly explain why ’domino’ is a more accurate and preferred term to ’tandem’ or ’cascade’. 

As a researcher who has studied domino reactions, the book, which covers a variety of possible mechanistic combinations, has forced me to reconsider my narrow view of domino reactions. Few stones have been left unturned. The transformations have been broken down into cationic, anionic, radical, pericyclic, photochemical, transition metal, redox and enzymatic, and combinations thereof. In each area there are good up-to-date and interesting examples to encourage one to consider cascade reactions further. The time saved in work-up and purification and the minimisation of reagents and waste will be valued by us all. 

The book is nicely produced with very clear schemes. The text is concise but also a good read at the same time. This is a book that all serious synthetic organic chemists should add to their personal library. You will turn to this volume on many occasions in order to consider how to cut down the number of reactions in a synthesis.  

Ecological aspects of synthesis will become increasingly important and the minimisation of energy, waste and reagents can often be facilitated by the design of domino reactions.  

Domino reactions are one of the emerging philosophies in planning organic synthesis and their use should now be considered in every chemical synthesis whether in the laboratory or in industry - this book is an excellent guide.