It is over 50 years ago that ferrocene, the first metallocene, was discovered

Ferrocenes: ligands, materials and biomolecules

Petr Stepnicka (ed)  

2008 | 670pp | ?120.00 (HB) ISBN 9780470035856

Reviewed by Andrew Houlto

It is over 50 years ago that ferrocene, the first metallocene, was discovered, and as this book reveals a great deal has happened since. It seems that almost any property, from anti-tumour activity to ferromagnetism, can be bestowed on this molecular group if sufficient care is taken in its synthetic manipulation. This edited collection, effectively the second in the Ferrocenes  series (the first being published in 1995), is clearly aimed at the research level scholar. Where the original covered catalysis, organic synthesis and materials science, this current volume also adds the newly emerging field of bio-organometallic chemistry as well as bringing the others areas right up to date.  

The book presents its wealth of information in two main parts. In the first, ferrocenyl ligands are covered in detail along with their applications in catalysis. The order in which this material is presented is well considered, with simple monodentate systems introduced before increasingly functionalised and exotic derivatives.  

The second part of the book is more wide ranging, covering various aspects of ferrocene-based sensors, molecular, polymeric and liquid crystalline materials, and biological molecules. As befitting the broader scope of this part of the book, a good level of background information to illustrate broad concepts is provided for many chapters, before the subjects are tackled in depth. These are useful to the newcomer, perhaps a graduate student, or those unfamiliar with the particular specialism. This is true, for example, of the section on biological molecules, a rapidly expanding area that will be unfamiliar to the traditional organometallic community. It is also noteworthy that many chapters feature a wealth of tabulated data making the volume a valuable research tool in its own right. 

In summary, this is a highly useful addition to the bookshelves of any organometallic chemist. It is ideal for researchers and groups looking for an up-to-date reference text in their field or for those keen to discover new aspects of organometallic chemistry in a single volume.