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Which microwave synthesis reactor is the best one for your research?

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Scientific microwave reactors, also known as dedicated microwave reactors, do not look like kitchen microwave ovens at all. Different types of dedicated reactors have been developed especially for chemical laboratories to serve the individual needs of chemists. How do you find out which one fits best to your requirements? And which types of reactors are available?

Protocol and configuration finder

The protocol and configuration finder is an online tool which provides you with all you need to know in order to get started with modern chemical synthesis.

Based on the Arrhenius Law and based on your reaction protocol it calculates the optimum conditions for applying your reaction in a minimum of time in a closed-vessel reactor. Furthermore, based on the calculated conditions, it suggests a reactor/configuration which exactly fits to your requirements.

Click here to find out what you need.

If you are interested in further details, below is an explanation of the general microwave reactor types.

Microwave reactor types

There are several types of scientific microwave reactors that differ in terms of microwave source, cavity design, scale, and automation.

Monomode microwave reactors

Figure 1: Schematic drawing of the microwave field distribution in a monomode reactor.

Monomode reactors have small compact cavities, in which microwave irradiation is directly focused on one single vessel containing the reaction mixture (Figure 1). Consequently, a high microwave field density is provided, resulting in exceedingly fast heating rates.

The maximum applicable reaction volume in monomode reactors is 20 mL, which makes them an ideal tool for optimizing chemical reactions on a small scale. They are optionally equipped with a camera for visually following the reaction process, with autosampler units allowing for automated overnight processing as well as straightforward workflows in a multi-user environment.

Monomode reactors are perfect tools for method development and optimization on the small scale typical for R&D. They are optionally equipped with an autosampler, providing sequential automation for overnight processing, and with a camera for visualizing the reaction progress.

Multimode microwave reactors for parallel synthesis

Multimode reactors have larger cavities in which the microwave field is distributed in a chaotic manner. In common multimode reactors the waves are reflected from the cavity walls and multiple modes of the electromagnetic waves interact with the cavity load (Figure 2).

Because of their larger size, these instruments can host different rotor types. These are basically used for parallel reactions in a scale range from a 300 ยตL scale up to multigram synthesis in 100 mL reaction vessels.

Learn more about multimode microwave reactors for parallel synthesis

Figure 2: Schematic drawing of the microwave field distribution in a common multimode parallel synthesis reactor.

Multimode microwave reactors for parallel applications are used for high-throughput synthesis and reaction screening as well as for scale-up to the multigram scale.

Multimode microwave reactors for single-batch scale-up

This special kind of multimode reactor features a circular waveguide in which various modes of the electromagnetic waves interact with the vessel content at different spots for efficient heating of larger volumes (Figure 3). A single 1 L vessel is positioned in a compact cavity, which provides a relatively high field density (compared to common multimode microwave ovens as shown in Figure 2). This results in optimized heating rates for large scales.

This kind of multimode reactor is used for single-batch scale-up if amounts of up to 1 kilogram of reaction product per day are required.

Learn more about multimode microwave reators for single-batch scale-up

Figure 3: Schematic drawing of the microwave field distribution in a multimode single-batch reactor (top view)

Multimode microwave reactors for single-batch applications are used for scaling up reactions which have been optimized on a smaller scale. The applicable reaction volume is 250 mL to 750 mL.

Use the Product and Configuration Finder to find out which reactor best fits your research demands.