Volume 92 Issue 4 | pp. 26-28
Issue Date: January 27, 2014

Microwave Chemistry Remains Hot, Fast, And A Tad Mystical

Differing takes on exactly how this popular heating method enhances reactions is keeping chemists intrigued
Department: Science & Technology | Collection: Green Chemistry, Life Sciences, Safety
News Channels: Analytical SCENE, Environmental SCENE, Materials SCENE, Nano SCENE, Organic SCENE
Keywords: microwave, organic synthesis, process chemistry, controversy, scientific debate, Arrhenius

When microwave ovens started appearing in chemistry labs in the late 1980s, it wasn’t just to heat up leftovers for lunch or to make popcorn or a frozen burrito for a late-night snack. Imaginative organic chemists had figured out that there’s an advantage to using microwaves to rapidly and uniformly heat reaction mixtures to accelerate synthetic processes. The word quickly spread to materials scientists making nanoparticles, biochemists synthesizing peptides, and environmental scientists preparing samples for . . .

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