Fast Reactions in Solution

  • Sørensen, Poul Erik (Project Manager)
  • McClelland, Robert A. (Project Participant)

Project Details


For many decades(1850-1920)the progress of chemical reactions as a function of time was only observable for relatively slow reactions (half-lives > seconds), where samples were taken from time to time and analysed by classical analytical methods.
However, this group of (classical) reactions represents only a fraction of all reactions, and today we are able to study experimentally also the remaining group - the fast reactions - where systems with half-lives of the order of magnitude from milli- to pico- and even femto-seconds can be reached.
In our research group we are primarily interested in measuring chemical reaction rates in the range of seconds to microseconds. We have access to experimental equipment such as stopped-flow and a relaxation spectrometer, the latter based on the temperature- and pressure-jump principle.
Since proton transfer reactions - relating to acid-base catalysis - are often fast processes, our instruments are essential for the study of such systems and have for a long time formed the experimental basis for our research in this field.
In focus at the moment are studies of:
1. Equilibria and kinetics of the the hydration of simple dialdehydes, such as glyoxal and its derivatives. These compounds appear in all living cells (cell growth regulators), and a study of their fundamental physico-chemical reactions is important to a more complete understanding of their biological function.
2. The bema hapothle in acid base catalysis. A study of the interaction between free energy correlations parameters at different reaction sites, following formulations by W. P. Jencks.
3. Protonation of simple cryptands. The two nitogens are protonated at different rates and the molecules undergo drastic conformational changes, coupled to this protonation in a rather complicated way.
Effective start/end date01/01/198531/12/1999


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