Reaction mechanisms

Definition

A reaction mechanism is a sequence of elementary reactions that can explain how an overall chemical reaction proceeds.

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News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Although predicted many years ago, chemically reactive termolecular reactions were thought to be unimportant in defining the behaviour of combustion systems. Now, calculations have shown that such reactions between radicals and long-lived bimolecular complexes can actually play an important role in hydrogen combustion.

    • Rex T. Skodje
    Nature Chemistry 9, 1038–1039
  • News and Views |

    Mathematically modelling metal–ligand bonding in late transition-metal complexes has been an important tool in catalyst development — although lacking for early transition metals such as Cr and Ti. Now, a simple method for measuring ligand donor properties promises to elevate high-valent early transition metal catalysis to the same level.

    • Ian A. Tonks
    Nature Chemistry 9, 834–836
  • News and Views |

    'Click' chemistry allows for the linking together of chemical modules, however, there are currently no methods that also allow for facile 'declicking' to unlink them. Now, a method has been developed to click together amines and thiols, and then allow a chemically triggered declick reaction to release the original molecular components.

    • David A. Fulton
    Nature Chemistry 8, 899–900
  • News and Views |

    Computations of the energetics and mechanism of the Morita–Baylis–Hillman reaction are “not even wrong” when compared with experiments. While computational abstinence may be the purest way to calculate challenging reaction mechanisms, taking prophylactic measures to avoid regrettable outcomes may be more realistic.

    • Arthur Winter
    Nature Chemistry 7, 473–475