Professor Horst Prinzbach, University of Freiburg, Germany, passed away on September 18, 2012. Prinzbach was a well-respected chemist in the area of organic chemistry. He synthesized a range of interesting non-benzenoid aromatic compounds, particularly pagodanes and dodecahedranes (C20H20), by using preparative organic photochemistry, many-electron pericyclic processes, and radical cations in his syntheses.
Prinzbach also managed to trap a helium atom inside C20H20, creating what he described as the world’s smallest helium balloon.
Horst Prinzbach was born in Haslach, Germany. He studied chemistry at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and gained his Ph.D. there in the group of Professor Arthur Lüttringhaus. He spent two years (1957–1959) as a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, USA, with Professor William von Eggers Doering. Prinzbach completed his Habiliation in 1962 at the University of Freiburg and in 1965 was appointed to the Chair of Organic Chemistry at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1969, he returned once more to the University of Freiburg, where he remained Professor of Organic Chemistry until his retirement.
Prinzbach received, along with a number of other awards, the Adolf von Baeyer Medal of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society) in 1989.
- In Pursuit of cis,cis,cis-Cyclonona-2,5,8-triene-1,4,7-trione – An Adventure in Medium-Sized Ring Chemistry,
Axel Pleschke, Jens Geier, Manfred Keller, Jürgen Wörth, Lothar Knothe, Horst Prinzbach,
Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2007, 29, 4867–4880.
- Bromination of Unsaturated Dodecahedranes—En Route to C20 Fullerene,
Emmerich Sackers, Thomas Oßwald, Klaus Weber, Manfred Keller, Dieter Hunkler, Jürgen Wörth, Lothar Knothe, Horst Prinzbach,
Chem. Eur. J. 2006, 12(24), 6242–6254.
- Putting Helium Inside Dodecahedrane,
R. James Cross, Martin Saunders, Horst Prinzbach,
Org. Lett. 1999, 1(9), 1479–1481.
- The Pagodane Route to Dodecahedranes: An Improved Approach to the C20H20 Parent Framework; Partial and Total Functionalizations—Does C20-Fullerene Exist?
Fabian Wahl, Jürgen Wörth, Horst Prinzbach,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 1993, 32(12), 1722–1726.