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Issue 32, 2020
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A kinetic description of how interfaces accelerate reactions in micro-compartments

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Abstract

A kinetic expression is derived to explain how interfaces alter bulk chemical equilibria and accelerate reactions in micro-compartments. This description, aided by the development of a stochastic model, quantitatively predicts previous experimental observations of accelerated imine synthesis in micron-sized emulsions. The expression accounts for how reactant concentration and compartment size together lead to accelerated reaction rates under micro-confinement. These rates do not depend solely on concentration, but rather the fraction of total molecules in the compartment that are at the interface. Although there are ∼107 to 1013 solute molecules in a typical micro-compartment, a kind of “stochasticity” appears when compartment size and reagent concentration yield nearly equal numbers of bulk and interfacial molecules. Although this is distinct from the stochasticity produced by nano-confinement, these results show how interfaces can govern chemical transformations in larger atmospheric, geologic and biological compartments.

Graphical abstract: A kinetic description of how interfaces accelerate reactions in micro-compartments

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
08 Jun 2020
Accepted
25 Jul 2020
First published
27 Jul 2020

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2020,11, 8533-8545
Article type
Edge Article

A kinetic description of how interfaces accelerate reactions in micro-compartments

K. R. Wilson, A. M. Prophet, G. Rovelli, M. D. Willis, R. J. Rapf and M. I. Jacobs, Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 8533
DOI: 10.1039/D0SC03189E

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