CatSci has a Biotage Initiator SP 60 microwave reactor. This can heat sealed tubes from 0.2 to 20 mL with internal magnetic stirring at up to 250°C. Rapid cooling at the end of reaction is provided by nitrogen gas. This instrument includes automation which is achieved by an integral PC interface and robot function, which is capable of running up to 60 individually pre-programmed reaction samples at one time. Microwave heating is widely used in discovery chemistry and in combination with catalytic chemistry, where small scale autoclave-like conditions giving access to super-heated solvents has proven advantageous.
Automated microwave reactors such as ours are also ideal for the rapid screening of reaction conditions, especially in catalytic chemistry where the wide variety of metal, ligand and additive combinations can lead to large numbers of reactions to screen at small scale. Alternatively, screening can be applied to a single reaction to rapidly determine reaction kinetics. Lastly, use of the 20 mL sized bottles can provide a semi-preparative scale to support early development work.