The development and applications of the combined use of NMR and ultrasound
The objective of the research carried out in this report was to observe the first ever in-situ sonochemical reaction in the NMR Spectrometer in the megahertz region of ultrasound. Several reactions were investigated as potential systems for a sonochemical reaction followed by NMR spectroscopy. The Diels-Alder Reaction is probably one of the most highly investigated reaction systems in the field of chemistry and it was this to which the author turned her attention. Previous authors have carried out ultrasonic investigations, with considerable success, for the reaction of anthracene with maleic anhydride. It was this reaction in particular that was next attempted. The first ever sonochemically enhanced reaction using a frequency of ultrasound in the megahertz (MHz) region was successfully carried out as bench experiments. Due to the complexity of the component reactants the product would precipitate from the solution and because the reaction could only be monitored by its formation, it was not possible to observe the reaction in the NMR spectrometer. The solvolysis of 2-chloro-2-methylpropane was examined in various solvent systems; the most suitable of which was determined to be aqueous 2-methylpropan-2-ol. The experiment was successfully enhanced by the application of ultrasound and monitored in-situ in the NMR spectrometer. The increase in product formation of an ultrasonic reaction over that of a traditional thermal reaction occurred. A range of 1.4 to 2.9 fold improvement was noted, dependent upon the reaction conditions investigated. An investigation into the effect of sonication upon a large biological molecule, in this case aqueous lysozyme, was carried out. An easily observed effect upon the sample was noted but no explanation for the observed effects could be established.