Author(s): Chen PK, Rosana MR, Dudley GB, Stiegman AE
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Abstract Under appropriate conditions, significant microwave-specific enhancement of the reaction rate of an organic chemical reaction can be observed. Specifically, the unimolecular Claisen rearrangement of allyl p-nitrophenyl ether (ApNE) dissolved in naphthalene was studied under microwave heating and conventional convective (thermal) heating. Under constant microwave power, reaching a temperature of 185 °C, a 4-fold rate enhancement was observed in the microwave over that using convective heating; this means that the microwave reaction was proceeding at an effective temperature of 202 °C. Conversely, under constant temperature microwave conditions (200 °C), a negligible (∼1.5-fold) microwave-specific rate enhancement was observed. The largest microwave-specific rate enhancement was observed when a series of 300 W pulses, programmed for 145-175 °C and 85-155 °C cycles, where 2- and 9-fold rate enhancements, over what would be predicted by conventional thermal heating, was observed, respectively. The postulated origins of the microwave-specific effect are purely thermal and arise from selective heating of ApNE, a microwave-absorbing reactant in a nonabsorbing solvent. Under these conditions, excess heat is accumulated in the domains around the ApNE solute so that it experiences a higher effective temperature than the measured temperature of the bulk medium, resulting in an accelerated unimolecular rearrangement.
This article was published in J Org Chem
and referenced in Journal of Material Sciences & Engineering