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Automation in Reaction Optimization
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1  The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Chemistry, 10550 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037

Abstract: The use of automation in high-throughput screening and high-speed parallel synthesis has been well documented in recent years1. While combinatorial techniques and automation are beginning to permeate material science and catalyst research2, the benefits of automation in reaction development is a largely untapped. Our approach towards automating reaction optimization is based on the utilization of a robotics lab designed to accommodate a wide range of applications. This is achieved through the principle of unit operations. Unit operations can be described as basic tasks that are performed normally in chemistry such as the manipulation of liquids and the weighing of starting materials. This approach is based on using a number of workstations that can achieve the automation of these tasks and accelerate a given operation. Automated workstations are designed to carry out a small number of tasks very well. They are most useful when employed as specialized instruments. When they are built to perform complex processes, problems often arise.
Keywords: n/a