A collection of commonly used experimental procedures and other interesting stuff for synthetic chemists
Welcome to Al's Notebook. If you're wondering what this is all about, read below.
As a synthetic chemist, I realized a long time ago that, while I could vaguely remember having used a certain procedure, I could never remember the specifics. What solvent, what temperature, how many equivalents. So I began to keep a record of each new procedure knowing that at some future date, I would be repeating it; maybe not with the same substrate but the conditions for the transformation would be the same. At first I just jotted them down but as my collection grew, it became harder to manage and not being able to find a procedure was no better than not being able to remember it. So I painstakingly typed them all into a word processing program that I could search and more easily organize. At one point I printed the whole thing out and that's when I saw there was a demand for this sort of thing. People would ask to see my notes when they couldn't remember a particular condition or were trying to do something without having to do a literature search. Now I have decided to make it available to everybody online. This format seems to work best. I have organized the procedures based on what type of functional group is being modified. This is not as straightforward as it sounds. If you mix up an amine, an aldehyde and borohydride do you call it a reductive amination or reductive alkylation? If you don't find something try calling it something else. Also, you should know that reaction times, temperatures, and equivalents are unoptimized.
I've included notes at the end of many of the procedures. I noticed that a lot of times I wanted to use a certain procedure that had been passed around. In the process of being copied from one notebook to the next, just exactly why something was done had been long ago lost. This is valuable information and so at the end of many procedures I have included notes with mechanistic explanations and historical references.
And there is other stuff so poke around. I hope you find something useful.