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C. Oliver Kappe- Microwaves in Organic Chemistry: From Laboratory Curiosity to Standard Practice in 25 Years

C. Oliver Kappe- Microwaves in Organic Chemistry: From Laboratory Curiosity to Standard Practice in 25 Years

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12/08/2013

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Microwaves in Organic Chemistry: From Laboratory Curiosity toStandard Practice in 25 Years
C. Oliver Kappe Christian Doppler Laboratory for Microwave Chemistry and Institute of Chemistry,Karl-Franzens-University Graz, A-8010 Graz, Austria E-mail: oliver.kappe@uni-graz.at www.maos.net 
High-speed microwave chemistry has attracted a considerable amount ofattention in the past two decades with new and innovative applications inorganic/peptide synthesis, polymer chemistry, material sciences, nanotechnologyand biochemical processes continuously being reported in the literature. In manyinstances, the use of microwave dielectric heating has been shown to dramaticallyreduce processing times, increase product yields, and to enhance product purities ormaterial properties compared to conventionally processed experiments [1-3]. Sincethe first reports on the use of microwave heating to accelerate organic chemicaltransformations by the groups of Gedye and Giguere/Majetich in 1986, more than4000 articles have been published in the area of microwave-assisted organicsynthesis (MAOS) [3]. The initial slow uptake of the technology in the late 1980s andearly 1990s has been attributed to its lack of controllability and reproducibility,coupled with a general lack of understanding of the basics of microwave dielectricheating. The risks associated with the flammability of organic solvents in a microwavefield and the lack of available systems for adequate temperature and pressurecontrols were major concerns. Since the late 1990s the number of publicationsrelated to MAOS has therefore increased dramatically to a point where it might beassumed that, in a few years, most chemists will probably use microwave energy toheat chemical reactions on a laboratory scale. Not only is direct microwave heatingable to reduce chemical reaction times from hours to minutes, but it is also known toreduce side reactions, increase yields and improve reproducibility. Therefore, manyacademic and industrial research groups are already using MAOS as a forefronttechnology for rapid reaction optimization, for the efficient synthesis of new chemicalentities, or for discovering and probing new chemical reactivity.

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