Undergraduate Experiment: Aldol Condensation

Incorporation of NMR spectroscopy into an undergraduate lab provides an excellent method with which to provide students with practical experiments acquiring their own data and interpreting actual NMR spectra. Subsequently, Nanalysis has been preparing a series of pamphlets, highlighting ideas that we had about simplifying the process of incorporating NMR spectroscopy into the lab.

An advanced experiment like an aldol condensation also provides the unique opportunity to introduce new experimental techniques into the curriculum. Particularly, we envisage the introduction of microscale, NMR tube reactions where students have the opportunity to preform ‘greener experiments’ in that they use less material and solvent, but are able to preform more reactions. This can highlight the versatility of C-C bond forming reactions, and highlight concepts like: substitution patterns, electron-withdrawing/electron-donating groups and asymmetric reactivity.