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Creating conjuncto-boranes


Working with stable metalloboranes
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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The other thing which made it possible was – and I think John Kennedy developed this very well indeed – was... he noticed, well we all noticed that these compounds were now stable in air. From the reactive boranes we got metalloboranes which were very stable and John realised that he could work more efficiently if he did the reactions and then did a paper chromatograph of this, separate the bands of different colours, cut out the part of... that he was interested in and then react that or react it further or characterise the compound. So by working with very small amounts of compound, which was of course important when the platinum metals were involved because the compounds weren’t trivial for their costs, it was possible to open up completely new ranges of structures.

Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.

Tags: John Kennedy

Duration: 1 minute, 7 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011