|Born||Wilhelm Johann Schlenk
22 March 1879
Munich, German Empire
|Died||29 April 1943
|Institutions||University of Munich,
University of Jena,
University of Vienna,
University of Berlin,
University of Tübingen
|Alma mater||University of Munich|
|Doctoral advisor||Oskar Piloty|
|Doctoral students||Herman Mark
Ernst David Bergmann
|Known for||Schlenk flask
|Notable awards||Lieben Prize (1917)|
Wilhelm Johann Schlenk (22 March 1879 – 29 April 1943) was a German chemist. He was born in Munich and also studied chemistry there. Schlenk succeeded Hermann Emil Fischer at the University of Berlin in 1919.
Schlenk was an organic chemist who discovered organolithium compounds around 1917. He also investigated free radicals and carbanions and discovered (together with his son) that organomagnesium halides are capable of participating in a complex chemical equilibrium, now known as a Schlenk equilibrium.
Today Schlenk is remembered mostly for developing techniques to handle air-sensitive compounds and for his invention of the Schlenk flask. The latter is a reaction vessel with a glass or Teflon tap for the addition and removal of gases, such as nitrogen or argon. He is also known for the Schlenk line, a double manifold incorporating a vacuum system and a gas line joined by double oblique taps that allow the user to switch between vacuum and gas for the manipulation of air-sensitive compounds.
- W. Schlenk; W. Schlenk, Jr. (1929). "Über die Konstitution der Grignardschen Magnesiumverbindungen". Chem. Ber. 62 (4): 920. doi:10.1002/cber.19290620422.
- Morawetz, Herbert (1996). "Herman Francis Mark". Biographical Memoirs 68: 195–208.
- Sella, Andrea (January 2008). "Schlenk Apparatus". Chemistry World: 69. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
- Tidwell, Thomas (2001). "Wilhelm Schlenk: The Man Behind the Flask". Angewandte Chemie International Edition 40 (2): 331–337. doi:10.1002/1521-3773(20010119)40:2<331::AID-ANIE331>3.0.CO;2-E. PMID 11180319.
- Picture of Schlenk
- The Arfvedson-Schlenk Award (in German)
-  English Translation of Schlenk's 1929 German article on Grignard reagents. English title: 'On the constitution of the Grignard reagent'; German title "Über die Konstitution der Girgnardschen Magnesiumverbindungen".
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