Vol. 24, No. 5
Coordination ChemistryThe Legacy of Joseph Chatt
Leigh and N. Winterton, editors
Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, United Kingdom, pp. xviii + 386,
2002. (ISBN 0-85404-469-8)
work of Joseph Chatt played a significant role in shaping the field
of coordination chemistry as we know it today. The volume under review
is an outgrowth of discussions held at the 34th International Coordination
Conference (ICCC 34) in Edinburgh, Scotland in July 2000 commemorating
Chatts contributions, while also celebrating the Golden Jubilee
of the first meeting of this body organized by Chatt at the ICI Laboratories
at the Frythe, Welwyn (near London). The present work is intended to
provide a historical perspective of the scientific achievements of J.
Chatt and to show how his contributions have led to current research
in the field. These goals have been admirably achieved.
volume is headed by a section containing personal reminiscences of five
close co-workers: G. J. Leigh, R. G. Wilkins, G. A. Gamlen, D. M. Adams,
and L. A. Duncanson. Reminiscences of other contributors are also dispersed
throughout the subsequent chapters. The next seven sections feature
chapters by active contributors organized around the broad range of
interests of Joseph Chatt, namely hydrido and dihydrogen complexes,
the chemistry of phosphines, transition metal complexes of olefins and
other unsaturated hydrocarbons, chemistry related to dinitrogen complexes,
biological nitrogen fixation, and patterns in stability and reactivity.
One example worth mentioning here is the chapter by G. Frenking titled
"The Dewar-Chatt- Duncanson Bonding Model of Transition Metal-Olefin
Complexes Examined by Modern Quantum Chemical Methods."
review I would like to call attention to two original papers that have
become classics in the field of hydridometal complexes. The first of
these is "A Volatile Chlorohydride of Platinum" by J. Chatt,
L. A. Duncanson, and B. L. Shaw, Proc. Chem. Soc. (1957) 343
announcing the synthesis of the new hydrido complex Pt(H)Cl(PEt3)2.
The substitution reactions of this and related complexes were subjected
to kinetic studies by F. Basolo and his soon to be famous graduate student
H. B. Gray. The non-pi bonding hydrido ligand was found to confer a
high kinetic trans effect lending support to the polarizability theory
promulgated by the Russian school. A summary of this work including
an amusing anecdote about a friendly competition between B. L. Shaw
and H. B. Gray are recounted in the chapter by F. Basolo titled "Mechanisms
of Platinum Reactions."
contribution that had enormous impact is "The Tautomerism of Arene
and Ditertiary Phosphine Complexes of Ruthenium(0), and the Preparation
of New Types of Hydridocomplexes of Ruthenium (II)," by J. Chatt
and J. M. Davidson, J. Chem. Soc. (1965) 843-855. This paper
established for the first time a reversible oxidative addition of aryl
C-H bonds at a low valent metal center as also the remarkable intra-molecular
oxidative C-H addition of a methyl group on the chelated diphosphine
ligand, 1,2-bis(dimethylphosphino) ethane, dmpe. A continuation of this
chemistry is presented in a chapter by S. Sabo-Etienne and B. Chaudret
and also in a contribution by M. A. Bennett and J. R. Harper.
interested in IUPAC affairs, it is appropriate to note here that J.
Chatt served as secretary of the Commission on the Nomenclature of Inorganic
Chemistry (CNIC) from 1959- 1963 and continued on as a member through
makes a unique contribution to the history of coordination chemistry
and to the record of contemporary developments in this multifaceted
field. I recommend the volume as a necessary addition to institutional
libraries and also for the personal book collections of chemists who
are active in the practice and in the teaching of transition metal chemistry.
by H. D. Kaesz,
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California,
Los Angeles, USA.