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Beyond Heat – Practical Requirements of a Microwave Synthesizer


In chemical synthesis, heat is an essential ingredient. Some reactions require low temperatures, for example those that create large exotherms, but in the vast majority of synthetic procedures heating a reaction to elevated temperatures is extremely beneficial, hence the prevalence of round bottom flasks, oil baths and condensers in chemistry, the hallmarks of every chemical laboratory across the globe. But convection heating is not the only way in which heat can be introduced to a reaction. Other methods can be utilised, such as UV heating. Perhaps one of the most versatile and beneficial alternative heating technologies is the use of microwaves, which have become common in certain laboratories, especially these where large numbers of compounds are synthesised, such as medicinal chemistry research and design and peptide research. However, when assessing microwave technology, the introduction of heat is only one aspect to be considered.

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