The Development of Organic Phosphorus Chemistry: Discoveries of the Nineteenth Century

Louis DuBose Quin
Duke University, Durham, NC, US

Series: Chemistry Research and Applications
BISAC: SCI013000




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The nineteenth century saw the beginning and flourishing of the now huge and important field of organophosphorus chemistry. The first compound with a carbon-phosphorus bond was made in 1845, but the scope of this new field did not become apparent until the work of the famous August Wilhelm Hofmann spanning the years 1855-1873. It was only after his work, that the field attracted the attention of other chemists. The most notable was August Michaelis who made many valuable contributions.

By the end of the century, the field was well established and the path was clear for dramatic growth in the twentieth century, especially the second half. Phosphorus can be found in various functional groups, and the discovery and description of these, and the development of still useful synthetic methods, are traced in this book. (Imprint: Novinka )


Chapter 1 - The Birth of the Field of Organic Phosphorus Chemistry (pp. 1-10)

Chapter 2 - The Pioneering Work of August Wilhelm Hofmann in Organophosphorus Chemistry (pp. 11-26)

Chapter 3 - The Many Research Accomplishments of August Michaelis (pp. 27-64)

Chapter 4 - The Contributions of Other Chemists, 1870-1900 (pp. 65-84)



"This treatise is an excellent review of the birth of organophosphorus chemistry with respect to the generation of C-P bonds. Dr. Quin has done a superb job in ferreting out the facts concerning the early work in this field in the 19th century. Four chapters compose the book with each chapter focusing mainly on work done by specific chemists." READ MORE... - K. Darrell Berlin, Regents Professor, Oklahoma State University.

"The book by Louis DuBose Quin is a first of its kind in presenting the early development of phosphorus chemistry. It does so by considering the discoveries of the three chemists that introduced the world to organic phosphorus chemistry. These are the French chemist , Paul Thenard, who discovered the first organic phosphorus compound in 1845, trimethylphosphine." READ MORE... - Dr. Robert Holmes, Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Phosphorus, Sulfur and Silicon and the Related Elements, University of Massachusetts

"In this book Professor Quin engagingly summarizes the many seminal discoveries made by pioneers of phosphorus chemistry in the 19th century who established the foundations of this important field. His coverage is thorough and orderly, and includes not only the chemistry that worked (despite the limits of laboratory apparatus, analytical techniques and bonding concepts of the period) but he also includes a number of informative synthetic attempts that failed. The author’s very careful analysis of the relevant literature enabled him to make a convincing case for choosing August Wilhelm Hoffman as the founder of phosphorus chemistry; a choice that at first surprised me, as I am sure it will other phosphorus-oriented chemists as well. Professor Quin has provided a wide spectrum of chemists with a delightful review of a field of great importance in academic as well as a variety industrial laboratories." - John G. Verkade, Ph.D., Iowa State University

Audience: All students, as well as industrial chemists, about to undertake research in phosphorus chemistry would benefit from reading this book. It serves as a concise introduction to many aspects of the field. Even those already maturely immersed in the field would be interested in how it developed. Another cohort would be the historians of science, since this aspect of organic chemistry would likely be unknown to them

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