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Features | Detective Monowave helps to reveal the truth

The microwave synthesis literature contains a large number of doubtful results and assumptions, since during many years of microwave synthesis, nobody cared about accurate parameter monitoring. Nowadays it is well known that there are crucial issues in microwave synthesis, and that it is important to understand and correctly interpret the results.

In the first publications about microwave synthesis, kitchen microwave ovens have been described as a heating source. These ovens do not allow measuring the reaction temperature. Even first generation dedicated microwave reactors highlighted the applied microwave power as the key parameter for the success of a microwave-assisted chemical reaction.

Meanwhile it is clear that the applied microwave power values are completely different in individual ovens/ instruments and cannot at all be compared with each other. In fact, the applied microwave power mainly depends on the geometry of the microwave cavity, and consequently, applying similar power levels in various reactors leads to completely different results.

The only parameter which guarantees comparability and reproducibility is the reaction temperature. Only if the temperature is correctly measured, microwaveassisted chemical transformations can be reproduced and compared in different reactors.

This report reveals the issues in conjunction to temperature monitoring in microwave-assisted synthesis with the help of simultaneous internal and IR temperature measurement in Monowave microwave reactors and summarizes the most important topics which one has to keep in mind for successful and reproducible microwave experiments.

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