Microwave Effects in Organic Synthesis: Myth or Reality?


  • This work was supported by a grant from the Christian Doppler Research Society (CDG). We thank Bernd Werner for performing NMR measurements.


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It's not magic! The effects observed in microwave-irradiated chemical transformations can in most cases be rationalized by purely bulk thermal phenomena associated with rapid heating to elevated temperatures. As discussed in this Essay, the existence of so-called nonthermal or specific microwave effects is highly doubtful.