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November 20, 2009
But These Reagents, Where Are They?
I'm home today (sick children, etc.), so I'm blogging from next to my daughter's guinea pig cage rather across the hall from my lab. But I have a lab-based question to throw out: what would you say is the chemistry technique or reagent with the worst publication-to-real use ratio?
I have a couple of nominees to get things rolling. For reagent, I would like to advance the montmorillonite clay stuff. I cannot count how many papers I have seen on its use as a Lewis acid, catalyst, and all-around good thing to have, but I have never used it myself, never spoken with anyone who has, and never (to my recollection) heard it suggested as a possible thing to try when someone encountered a synthetic problem. For all I know it's a fine reagent, but its footprint does not seem to be very large. I actually have used benzotriazole, but I've never seen an actual container of montmorillonite K-10.
For general technique, I'm tempted to nominate ionic liquids. Man, are there ever a lot of publications on those things, but again, I've never actually encountered them in actual practice. I have heard second-hand of people trying them, so I guess that counts for something, but it still seems to be disproportionate compared to the avalanche of literature citations for the things. The craze seems to have peaked, but still not a week goes by that I don't see a paper.
Nominations? As with the book recommendation post, I'll assemble things into master lists.
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