Thursday, November 8, 2007
Salon I A&B (Intercontinental at the Plaza)

Microwave Assisted Synthesis in the Classroom: Clean, Fast Organic Chemistry

Cynthia B. McGowan1, Nicholas Leadbeater2, Grace S. Vanier3, E. Keller Barnhardt3, and Bianca Gragg3. (1) Merrimack College, N. Andover, MA, (2) University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, (3) CEM Corporation, Matthews, NC

The use of microwave irradiation in organic synthesis has become an increasingly popular topic within the pharmaceutical and academic research arenas. It has proven to be a safe and clean means of performing reactions very rapidly, however, has not been fully explored within a teaching environment. Herein, we describe the use of microwave energy to accelerate reactions typically encountered in an undergraduate teaching laboratory. Reactions such as esterifications, Aldol Condensations, and Diels-Alder cycloadditions are all performed using microwave energy to accelerate the process. These reactions have proven to be faster, greener, and more interesting to students, serving not only to challenge, but also to more fully engage students in the laboratory.