Reaction mechanisms

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

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research
    | Open Access

    Organophosphorous zwitterions are important intermediates in organic synthesis but can be unstable and difficult to characterise. Here, two analogues of such intermediates stabilised by conjugation to an open-cage fullerene derivative allow for characterisation by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, with mechanistic implications.

    • Yoshifumi Hashikawa
    • , Shu Okamoto
    •  & Yasujiro Murata
  • Research |

    Chemical reactions usually proceed through either a radical, concerted or ionic mechanism; transformations in which all three mechanisms occur are rare. Now, the mechanical dissociation of an N-heterocyclic carbene precursor has been shown to proceed with the rupture of a C–C bond through concomitant heterolytic, concerted and homolytic pathways.

    • Robert Nixon
    •  & Guillaume De Bo
  • Research
    | Open Access

    The geometric phase effect associated with a conical intersection between the ground and first excited electronic state has been predicted in the H3 system below the conical intersection energy. The authors, by a crossed molecular beam technique and quantum dynamic calculations, provide experimental evidence and insight into its origin.

    • Daofu Yuan
    • , Yin Huang
    • , Wentao Chen
    • , Hailin Zhao
    • , Shengrui Yu
    • , Chang Luo
    • , Yuxin Tan
    • , Siwen Wang
    • , Xingan Wang
    • , Zhigang Sun
    •  & Xueming Yang
  • Research |

    A transient intermediate complex in a chemical reaction—formed from collisions between molecules with a few atoms—is observed under ultracold conditions. Its lifetime can be directly measured after suppression of the photo-excitation process.

    • Yu Liu
    • , Ming-Guang Hu
    • , Matthew A. Nichols
    • , David D. Grimes
    • , Tijs Karman
    • , Hua Guo
    •  & Kang-Kuen Ni
  • Reviews |

    Enhanced chemical reactivity on-water has major implications in many fields, ranging from atmospheric to prebiotic chemistry. This Review analyses recent experimental and theoretical studies in this fast-moving research area and brings together some key findings across diverse fields.

    • Manuel F. Ruiz-Lopez
    • , Joseph S. Francisco
    • , Marilia T. C. Martins-Costa
    •  & Josep M. Anglada

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion
    | Open Access

    After two decades of steady growing, symbiotic merger of organocatalysis with emerging electrochemical and photochemical tools are envisioned as hot topics in the coming decade. Here, these trends are discussed in parallel to the implementation of artificial intelligence-based technologies, which anticipate a paradigm shift in catalyst design.

    • José M. Lassaletta
  • News and Views |

    Many current methods to prepare 2-hydroxybiaryls require the prefunctionalization of phenol groups or show limited substrate scope. Now, use of a pentavalent sulfone-bridged bismacycle, formed in situ by telescoped boron-to-bismuth transmetallation and oxidation, allows the direct and regioselective ortho-arylation of unprotected phenols.

    • Adrien Le Roch
    •  & Alexandre Gagnon
    Nature Chemistry 12, 223-224
  • News and Views |

    Although the application of force to induce chemical transformations is an active area of research, detailed understanding of these mechanochemical pathways is still lacking. Now, the mechanochemical activation of [4]-ladderane has been studied and found to exhibit unique non-equilibrium dynamic effects.

    • Vincenzo Lordi
    Nature Chemistry 12, 225-226
  • Research Highlights |

    A proton-neutral enantioselective Michael addition reaction has been described in which an aryloxide acts as leaving group, proton shuttle and Lewis base.

    • Stephen G. Davey
  • News and Views |

    Lewis acids are shown to react with water, forming a complex with Brønsted acidity able to effectively dope semiconducting polymers through backbone protonation and internal charge transfer.

    • Han Yan
    •  & Wei Ma
    Nature Materials 18, 1269-1270