Microwave Effects in Organic Synthesis: Myth or Reality?

Microwave effects are just efficient heating, and nothing else. No magic, no voodoo.

Oliver Kappe (University Graz, Austria) is well known to most med chemists because his long involvement in technologies like Microwaves Organic Synthesis (MOS) and Flow Chemistry. He has published many papers and reviews focused in microwave-based synthetic methods, and among these, some touching a controversial topic in the field, which has been discussed for a long, long time: The so-called ‘Microwave Effects’, which according to some authors (not Kappe), can explain unexpected and striking results. In this essay, Kappe and his team dismantle (once again) this myth, to conclude that the results observed in MOS are just heating related. This paper is mandatory for any chemist doing microwave synthesis.

No Magic

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201352, pp 1088-1094.
See: 10.1002/anie.201204103