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Pure Appl. Chem., 2007, Vol. 79, No. 6, pp. 1111-1123

Microemulsions as microreactors in physical organic chemistry

Luis García-Río1, J. Ramon Leis1, Juan Carlos Mejuto2 and Moisés Pérez-Lorenzo1

1 Departamento de Química Física, Facultad de Química, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
2 Departamento de Química Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Vigo, Ourense, Spain

Abstract: Microemulsions are very versatile reaction media which nowadays find many applications, ranging from nanoparticle templating to preparative organic chemistry. The thermodynamically stable and microheterogeneous nature of microemulsions, used as reaction media, induces drastic changes in the reagent concentrations, and this can be specifically used for tuning the reaction rates. In particular, amphiphilic organic molecules can accumulate and orient at the oil-water interface, inducing regiospecificity in organic reactions. In this review, we will show the recent tendencies of the use of microemulsions as organic reaction media.