- Alfred Stock
name = Alfred Stock
birth_date = birth date|1876|7|16|df=yes
Danzig, German Empire
death_date = death date and age|1946|8|12|1876|7|16|df=yes
Aken an der Elbe, Germany
nationality = German
University of Karlsruhe
Alfred Stock (
July 16 1876– August 12 1946) was a German inorganic chemist. He did pioneering research on the hydrides of boronand silicon, coordination chemistry, mercury, and mercury poisoning. The German Chemical Society's Alfred-Stock Memorial Prize is named after him.
Born in Danzig (
Gdańsk) and educated at Berlin, he was nine years assistant of Emil Fischerbefore he became professor at the University of Breslauin 1900. In 1916 he succeeded Richard Willstätteras director at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistryin Berlin. After a severe mercury poisoning he became the director of the Chemistry Department at the Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe from 1926 to 1936. He was renowned for his pioneering research on boron hydrides. [cite book |last= Stock |first=Alfred |year = 1933|title = The Hydrides of Boron and Silicon| edition = |publisher = Cornell University Press |location = New York| id = | pages= ]
Research on the hydrides of boron and silicon
Stock began studying the boron
hydrides - the boron hydrogen chemical compounds with general formula BxHy - since 1909 at Breslau. Due to their extreme reactivity and flammability in air, boron hydrides could not be purified until his development of methods for separation using high-vacuum manifolds around 1912. He performed similar work on the hydrides of silicon. The hydrides of boron and silicon represented the first family of binary compounds to approach the richness of hydrocarbons in terms of structural diversity. Not only did the boron hydrides exhibit challenging properties, their structures were also unusual. Elucidation of the structures and the associated bonding models dramatically expanded the scope of inorganic chemistry. Boron hydrides such as diboranelater developed into a range of reagents for organic synthesisas well as a source of diverse ligands and building blocks for researchers.
Research on other areas of inorganic chemistry
In 1921, he first prepared metallic
berylliumby electrolyzing a fused mixture of sodiumand beryllium fluorides. This method made beryllium available for industrial use, as in special alloys and glasses and for making windows in X-ray tubes.
He was also influential in coordination chemistry. The term "
ligand" (from "ligare" Latin, to bind) was first used by Stock in 1916. [cite journal |first=William H. |last=Brock |coauthors=K. A. Jensen, Christian Klixbüll Jørgensen, George B. Kauffman|title=The origin and dissemination of the term “ligand” in chemistry |journal=Polyhedron |volume=2 |issue=1 |year=1983 |pages=1–7 |doi=10.1016/S0277-5387(00)88023-7 ] H. Irving and R.J.P. Williams adopted the term in a paper published in 1948. [cite journal |first=H. |last=Irving |coauthors=R.J.P. Williams |title=Order of stability of metal complexes |journal=Nature |year=1948 |volume=162 |pages=746–747 |issn=0028-0836 |doi=10.1038/162746a0 ] Monodentate, bidentate, tridentate characterized the number of ligands attached to a metal. Given the introduction of ligand concept, he was also able to further derive the idea of bite angleand other aspects of chelation.
The "Stock system," first published in 1919, was a means of nomenclature on
binary compounds. In his own words, he considered the system to be "simple, clear, immediately intelligible, capable of the most general application." In 1924, a German commission recommended Stock system to be adopted with some accommodations. FeCl2, which would have been named iron(2)-chloride according to Stock's original idea, became iron(II) chloride in the revised proposal. In 1934 Stock agreed to the use of Roman numeralsbut preferred keeping the hyphen and dropping the parentheses. Although this suggestion has not been followed, the Stock system remains in use worldwide.
Interests in mercury and mercury poisoning
He published over 50 papers on different aspects of mercury and
mercury poisoning.cite journal
first = Egon
last = Wiberg
authorlink = Egon Wiberg
title = Alfred Stock 1876-1946
volume = 83
issue = 6
pages = XIX
year = 1950
doi = 10.1002/cber.19500830619] He also introduced sensitive tests and devised improved laboratory techniques for dealing with mercury which minimized poisoning risk, possibly initiated by his chronic mercury poisoning in 1923. He became more vocal on protesting the mercury usage after realizing the toxicity of its organic derivatives. German dentists abandoned his warning in 1928 against copper
amalgamusage. Nevertheless a paper from Fleischmann, in which removal of mercury in amalgam-related illness had led to complete recovery, supported his idea. ("Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift" 1928, No. 8). A committee was founded in Berlin to investigate cases of possible mercury intoxication and hence the term micromercurialismwas first used. [cite journal |last=Stock |first=Alfred |title=Die Gefaehrlichkeit des Quecksilberdampfes |journal=Zeitschrift für angewandte Chemie |pages=461–466 |volume=39 |year=1926 |doi=10.1002/ange.19260391502]
Retirement and death
After retirement in 1936, he moved from Karlsruhe to Berlin. He died at
Aken an der Elbe, a small town near Dessau, in August 1946 at the age of 70.
In recognition of his contributions to the field of inorganic chemistry, the German Chemical Society (Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker) posthumously created in 1950 the
Alfred Stock Memorial Prize. The prize, consisting of a gold medal and money, is awarded annually for "an outstanding independent scientific experimental investigation in the field of inorganic chemistry."cite web
title=Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker e.V., GDCh-Preise 2008
*de icon [http://www.gdch.de/gdch/eps/preise/stock.htm List of recipients of the Alfred-Stock-Gedächtnispreis]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.