- Ernst Otto Fischer
name = Ernst Otto Fischer
caption = Ernst Otto Fischer
10 November 1918
birth_place = Solln, since 1938 part of
Munich, German Empire
death_date = death date and age|2007|7|23|1918|11|10
Technical University of Munich
Technical University of Munich
Organometallic compounds Ferrocene
Nobel Prize for Chemistry(1973)
Ernst Otto Fischer (
November 10, 1918– July 23, 2007) was a German chemistwho won the Nobel Prize for pioneering work in the area of organometallic chemistry.
He was born in
Solln, near Munich. His parents were Karl T. Fischer, Professor of Physics at the Technical University of Munich(TU), and Valentine née Danzer. He graduated in 1937 with "Abitur". Before the completion of two years' compulsory military service, the Second World Warbroke out, and he served in Poland, France, and Russia. During a period of study leave, towards the end of 1941 he began to study chemistry at the Technical University of Munich. Following the end of the War, he was released by the Americans in the autumn of 1945 and resumed his studies, graduating in 1949.
He worked on his doctoral thesis as an assistant to Professor
Walter Hieberin the Inorganic Chemistry Institute, His thesis was entitled "The Mechanisms of Carbon Monoxide Reactions of Nickel(II) Salts in the Presence of Dithionites and Sulfoxylates". [cite journal | author=Hieber, W.; Fischer, E. O. | title=ber den Mechanismus der Kohlenoxydreaktion von Nickel(II)- und KobaIt(II)-Salzen bei Gegenwart von Dithionit | journal= Zeitschrifft anorganische und allgemeine Chemie | year=1952 | pages= 292–307 | volume=269 | doi=10.1002/zaac.19522690417] After receiving his doctorate in 1952, he continued his research on the organometallic chemistryof the transition metaland indicated with his lecturer thesis on "The Metal Complexes of Cyclopentadienes and Indenes". [cite journal | author=E. O. Fischer | title=Metallverbindungen des Cyclopentadiens und des Indens | journal=Angewandte Chemie | year=1955 | volume=67 | issue=7 | pages=211 | doi=10.1002/ange.19550670708] that the structure postulated by Pauson and Kealy might be wrong. Shortly after he published the structural data of ferrocene, the sandwich structure of the 5 (pentahapto) compound. [cite journal | author=E. O. Fischer, W. Pfab | title=Zur Kristallstruktur der Di-Cyclopentadienyl-Verbindungen des zweiwertigen Eisens, Kobalts und Nickels | journal=Z. Naturforsch. B | year=1952 | volume=7 | pages=377–379 | doi=] He was appointed a lecturer at the TU in 1955 and, in 1957, professor and then, in 1959, C4 professor. In 1964 he took the Chair of Inorganic Chemistry at the TU.
In 1964, he was elected a member of the Mathematics/Natural Science section of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. In 1969 he was appointed a member of the German Academy of Natural Scientists, Leopoldina and in 1972 was given an honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy of the University of Munich.
He lectured across the world on metal complexes of
cyclopentadienyl, indenyl, arenes, olefins, and metal carbonyls. In the 1960s his group discovered a metal alkylidene and alkylidyne complexes, since referred to as Fischer carbenes and Fischer- carbynes. [Fischer, E. O., "On the way to carbene and carbyne complexes", Advances in Organometallic Chemistry, 1976, volume 14, 1-32] Overall he published about 450 journal articles and he trained many PhD and postdoctoral students, many of whom went on to noteworthy careers. Among his many foreign lectureships, he was Firestone Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison(1969), visiting professor at the University of Florida(1971), and Arthur D. Littlevisiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology(1973).
He has received many awards including, in 1973 with
Geoffrey Wilkinson, the Nobel Prize in Chemistryfor his work on organometallic compounds.
He died on
July 23 2007in Munich. [ [http://derstandard.at/?url=/?id=2972542 derStandard.at ] ] Fischer was, at the time of his death, the oldest living German Nobel laureate. He was succeeded by Manfred Eigen, who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1967 and is nine years younger than Fischer was.
*C. Elschenbroich, A. Salzer ”Organometallics : A Concise Introduction” (2nd Ed) (1992) from Wiley-VCH: Weinheim. ISBN 3-527-28165-7
*cite journal | author=Wolfgang A. Herrmann | title=Mediator between chemical worlds, aesthete of sciences, and man of Bavaria: Ernst Otto Fischer | journal=Journal of Organometallic Chemistry | year=2003 | volume=684 | issue=1-2 | pages=1–5 | doi=10.1016/S0022-328X(03)00715-0
*cite journal | author=E. O. Fischer | title=Über Cycopentadien-Komplexe des Eisen und des Kobalts | journal=Angewandte Chemie | year=1952 | volume=64 | issue=22 | pages=620 | doi=10.1002/ange.19520642206
*cite journal | author=Wolfgang A. Herrmann | title=Obituary: Ernst Otto Fischer (1918–2007) | journal=Nature | year=2007 | volume=449 | issue= | pages=156 | doi=10.1038/449156a
* [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1973/fischer-autobio.html A short autobiography]
* [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1973/fischer-lecture.pdf Nobel lecture]
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