Ernst Otto Fischer

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Fischer, Ernst Otto


Born Nov. 10, 1918, in Solln, near Munich. German chemist (Federal Republic of Germany).

Fischer graduated from the Munich Technische Hochschule in 1949. In 1959 he became a professor at the University of Munich, and in 1964, at the Munich Technische Hochschule (now the Technische Universität). In 1969 he was appointed director of the institute of inorganic chemistry in Munich.

Fischer determined the structure of ferrocene, synthesized dibenzolchrome from C6H6 and CrCl3 in the presence of AlCl3 (1955), and developed a general method of synthesizing arene derivatives (that is, derivatives containing an aromatic nucleus) of the transition elements. He was the first to obtain arenecarbonyl, arenecyclopentadienyl, and other mixed π-complexes of the transition elements. He showed that these compounds decompose upon heating to form a “metallic mirror,” which can be used to obtain ultrapure metals. Fischer was the first to synthesize a number of organometallic compounds of technetium and the transuranium elements. He also obtained stable carbene complexes of the transition elements (1964), as well as the carbine complexes (1973).

Fischer was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1973 jointly with G. Wilkinson.


Gubin, S. P. “Otto Fisher, Dzhoffri Uilkinson.” Zhurnal Vsesoiuznogo khimicheskogo obshchestva im. D. I. Mendeleeva, 1975, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 701–02.