Fischer, Ernst Otto

Fischer, Ernst Otto,

1918–2007, German chemist, Ph.D. Technical Univ. of Munich (TUM), 1952. Fischer was a professor at TUM (1954–57) and the Univ. of Munich (1957–64). He returned to TUM in 1964 and then spent the period from 1969 to 1973 as a visiting lecturer at a number of schools in the United States, including the universities of Wisconsin, Florida, and Rochester as well as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Fischer won the 1973 Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Geoffrey WilkinsonWilkinson, Sir Geofferey,
1921–, English inorganic chemist. He shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Ernst Otto Fischer for their independent research on the organometallic compounds of the transitions metals.
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. Independently, the two chemists identified a completely new way in which metals and organic substances can combine. The resulting materials, known as organometallic compounds, have practical applications as catalysts in industry and are also found in biological systems.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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