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Platinum Metals Rev., 1968, 12, (2), 47

Chemistry of Co-ordination Complexes

The Chemistry of the Rarer Platinum Metals (Os, Ru, Ir and Rh), by W. P. Griffith. Pp. ix and 491. Interscience Publishers, London, New York and Sydney, E6.

  • F. M. L.

To anyone concerned with the chemistry of the platinum group metals the lack of texts on the subject is well known and the publication of any book would be hailed as a noteworthy occasion. The appearance of this authoritative work by Dr Griffith, of Imperial College, is indeed such an occasion. Over the past decade or so a vast amount of work has been carried out on the co-ordination chemistry of osmium, ruthenium, iridium and rhodium and the literature has abounded with the resulting papers. To have now a book containing all the information that has accumulated from the time of the discovery of these metals until the end of 1966 is indeed a great boon.

It is not only to be hoped that the author will continue to cover the literature so that further editions of the book may be as complete as is the present one but that he, or some other person prepared to undertake an equally monumental task, will produce a similar treatise dealing with platinum and palladium.

The book is concerned primarily with the co-ordination chemistry of the four elements and is written in the form of a reference book, much material being presented in tabular form. In the opening chapter such subjects as occurrence, physical, chemical and catalytic properties of the elements, their analytical chemistry and industrial applications are very briefly considered. The following chapter comprises a general chemical survey in which the distinctive features of the chemistry of the elements are outlined. The range of oxidation states and stereochemistries in the metal complexes and the reactivities of the complexes are considered. There is a survey of the physical measurements that have been made with some indication of the chemical information that can be derived from them, and a brief review of the principal ligands found to co-ordinate with the metals. The elements are then dealt with in individual chapters, the co-ordinating ligands being arranged according to the Periodic Group to which the donor atom belongs. Each of the chapters deals comprehensively and critically with the subject, considering in detail molecular structure and the physical and chemical properties of the complexes and concluding with a section on homogeneous catalysis.

This book, if only by reason of its comprehensive coverage, is an invaluable contribution to the literature of the platinum group metals. It makes clear the potential importance of these complexes, particularly in the catalytic field, and should stimulate workers in this branch of chemistry to still greater effort.