Controlled microwave heating in modern organic synthesis: highlights from the 2004–2008 literature
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Direct and rapid heating by microwave irradiation in combination with sealed vessel processing in many cases enables reactions to be carried out in a fraction of the time generally required using conventional conditions. This makes microwave chemistry an ideal tool for rapid reaction scouting and optimization of conditions, allowing very rapid progress through hypotheses–experiment–results iterations. The speed at which multiple variations of reaction conditions can be performed allows a morning discussion of “What should we try?” to become an after-lunch discussion of “What were the results” Not surprisingly, therefore, many scientists both in academia and industry have turned to microwave synthesis as a front-line methodology for their projects. In this review, more than 220 published examples of microwave-assisted synthetic organic transformations from the 2004 to 2008 literature are discussed. An additional ca. 500 reaction schemes are presented in the Electronic Supplementary Material, providing the reader with an overall number of ca. 930 references in this fast-moving and exciting field.