Microreactors as Tools for Synthetic Chemists—The Chemists' Round-Bottomed Flask of the 21st Century?
Article first published online: 22 SEP 2006
Copyright © 2006 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Chemistry - A European Journal
Volume 12, Issue 33, pages 8434–8442, November 15, 2006
How to Cite
Geyer, K., Codée, J. D. C. and Seeberger, P. H. (2006), Microreactors as Tools for Synthetic Chemists—The Chemists' Round-Bottomed Flask of the 21st Century?. Chem. Eur. J., 12: 8434–8442. doi: 10.1002/chem.200600596
- Issue published online: 7 NOV 2006
- Article first published online: 22 SEP 2006
- integrated microchemical systems;
- process optimization
Will microreactors replace the round-bottomed flask to perform chemical reactions in the near future? Recent developments in the construction of microstructured reaction devices and their wide-ranging applications in many different areas of chemistry suggest that they can have a significant impact on the way chemists conduct their experiments. Miniaturizing reactions offers many advantages for the synthetic organic chemist: high-throughput scanning of reaction conditions, precise control of reaction variables, the use of small quantities of reagents, increased safety parameters, and ready scale-up of synthetic procedures. A wide range of single- and multiphase reactions have now been performed in microfluidic-based devices. Certainly, microreactors cannot be applied to all chemistries yet and microfluidic systems also have disadvantages. Limited reaction-time range, high sensitivity to precipitating products, and new physical, chemical, and analytical challenges have to be overcome. This concept article presents an overview of microfluidic devices available for chemical synthesis and evaluates the potential of microreactor technology in organic synthesis.