25 No. 2
Franc Meyer, translated from German to English by Katja
21-26 July 2002, the International Conference on Coordination
Chemistry (ICCC) took place in Heidelberg, Germany. More
than 1100 chemists from 57 nations traveled to the scientific
metropolis at the Neckar river to report on and discuss the
latest progress in coordination chemistry in 223 lectures
and 768 poster presentations.
1950, the ICCC, which usually takes place biannually, has
been the central meeting of coordination chemists from all
over the world. This year, the 35th conference in the series
was brought to Germany for the third timeafter Hamburg
(1976) and Gera (1990). There was overwhelming interest in
the conference, but limitations in the size of the venue prevented
a much larger number of participants. The up-to-date and attractive
conference program was compiled by the organizing committee
of Gottfried Huttner, Elisabeth Kaifer and Roland Krämer.
diversity of modern coordination chemistry today and the evolution
of coordination chemistry into a link between different fields
of modern chemistry was impressively demonstrated. Whether
bioinorganic chemistry, molecular precursors for novel materials,
supramolecular chemistry, or homogeneous metal catalysiscoordination
units constitute the fundamental building blocks. Accordingly,
the excellent plenary lectures covered all the topics of modern
coordination chemistry. Itamar Willner (Jerusalem) gave an
account on the development of functional nanostructures elaborately
composed of coordination units, biopolymers, and surfaces
to construct modules of electronic, electrocatalytic, and
optoelectronic devices. Dante Gatteschi (Florence) elucidated
the strategies for achieving and understanding high magnetic
anisotropies in single moleculesanisotropy is the fundamental
prerequisite for molecular magnetism and a thorough understanding
is necessary for the improvement of magnetic properties and
for future application in nanomagnets. The fact that the mechanism
of metallocen- catalyzed olefin polymerization can be conceived
only if the so-far neglected "non-coordinating" counter anions
are also taken into account, was demonstrated by Hans H. Brintzinger
(Konstanz). The awarding of the Wilkinson prize to Achim M
ller (Bielefeld) was doubtlessly a highlight, as well as the
impressive lecture given by the laureate, in which he showed
the controlled construction, transformation, nesting, and
combination of giant molecular polyoxometallate balls, disks,
and rings with up to 264 metal atomscoordination chemistry
in a novel dimension.
J. H. Clark (London) entertained the audience with his colorful
presentation about analysis of inorganic pigments used in
arts. Raman microscopy not only allows the identification
pigments for dating and assigning artwork, but also leads
to the discovery of art forgeries as shown by several spectacular
examples. Other plenary lectures covered the following topics:
self-organization of coordination cage compounds and control
of chemical reactions in such supramolecular vessels (M. Fujita,
Tokyo); structure elucidation of photosystem I with more than
96 cofactors and of the unique Mn4 cluster in the water oxidizing
complex of photosystem II (P. Fromme, Berlin); synthesis and
electronic analysis of novel, inverted sandwich compounds
of uranium (C. C. Cummins, MA, USA); luminescent materials
with variable absorption and emission characteristics synthesized
in a rational way using a coordination chemical approach (V.
W.-W. Yam, Hong Kong); and complexes of lanthanide ions with
expanded and modified porphyrins which have advanced in clinical
testing as anticancer drugs (J. L. Sessler, Austin/Texas).
These contributions show once more that fundamental researchespecially
in the interdisciplinary field of coordination chemistryleads
to new insights, beautiful results, and new applications.
numerous diversified oral presentations were organized in
six parallel sessions (Bioinorganic Chemistry, Metals in Medicine,
Metals in Catalysis, Werner Type Complexes, Supramolecular
Coordination Chemistry, Materials and Nanochemistry) giving
many young scientists the opportunity to present their research.
The two poster sessions, in which the participants actively
and vividly discussed all aspects of coordination chemistry
and socialized with each other, constituted an integral part
of the conference.
fact that many discussions and conversations lasted far into
the night was due to the perfect organization. The pleasant
environment and the special ambience of the conference location
contributed considerably to the great success of the ICCC35.
Heidelberg and modern coordination chemistry at its best!
report was first published in German in the November 2002
issue of the magazine of the German Chemical Society.
Meyer <[email protected]>
is professor at the Georg- August-University Göttingen
and Katja Heinze is professor at the University of Heidelberg.
modified 3 March 2003.
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