Small-scale Microwave-assisted Organic Laboratory (SMOL): Facility and equipment

The microwave assisted organic chemistry laboratory is outfitted with three different models of microwave reactors to include-

Each of the models was chosen based on specific features like the ability to handle larger sample sizes or obtain higher temperatures by using special sample vessels.

Established with a grant from the Army Research Office (ARO), the microwave laboratory is under the direction of Dr. Godson C. Nwokogu, professor of chemistry and principle investigator (PI). (Award # W911NF-14-1-0095) The co-PIs are HU chemistry department faculty, Drs. Charles Bump, Kesete Ghebreyessus, Edmund Ndip and Michelle Waddell. The focus of their work is to compile a comprehensive list of undergraduate laboratory activities using microwave reactors and share the findings with others interested in using microwave reactors in the undergraduate organic chemistry laboratory.

WHY MICROWAVE? The opportunity to replace traditional thermal heating with microwave reactors in the organic chemistry laboratory and in synthetic research results in experiments that are more environmentally friendly and more efficient. Experiments that previously used heating by bunsen burner or baths of water, sand or oil can now be performed using microwave irradiation, cutting down on reaction times and the quantity of chemical solvents used. Faster reaction times may also allow for improved use of laboratory time- using the time saved for a more in-depth investigation of a compound by other methods and instrumentation, namely NMR or IR.

Be sure to check this site in the future for student-tested, microwave-assisted, organic reaction procedures for undergraduate laboratory activities.