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An Investigation of Wall Effects in Microwave-Assisted Ring-Closing Metathesis and Cyclotrimerization Reactions

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journal contribution
posted on 06.08.2010, 00:00 by Doris Dallinger, Muhammed Irfan, Amra Suljanovic, C. Oliver Kappe
Challenging Ru-catalyzed ring-closing metathesis transformations leading to eight-membered-ring systems and Ni- or Co-catalyzed [2+2+2] cyclotrimerizations were evaluated at elevated temperatures applying microwave dielectric heating or conventional thermal heating in order to investigate the role of wall effects. All reactions were conducted in a dedicated reactor setup that allowed accurate internal reaction temperature measurements using fiber-optic probes for both types of heating modes. For ring-closing metathesis best results were achieved using an open vessel−gas sparging protocol in 1,2-dichloroethane at reflux temperature (83 °C), while cyclotrimerizations were performed under sealed vessel conditions in toluene between 80 and 160 °C. For all studied transformations the results achieved in a single-mode microwave reactor could be reproduced by conventional heating in an oil bath by carefully matching the temperature profiles as close as possible during the entire heating and cooling cycle. In contrast to previous literature reports, no evidence that direct in-core microwave heating can increase catalyst lifetime by minimization or elimination of wall effects was obtained. At the same time, no indication for the involvement of nonthermal microwave effects in these homogeneous transition metal-catalyzed transformations was seen.