Issue 1, 2021

Alternating polarity for enhanced electrochemical synthesis


Synthetic electrochemistry has recently become an exciting technology for chemical synthesis. The majority of reported syntheses use either constant current or constant potential, however a few use non-linear profiles – mostly alternating polarity – to maintain efficiency throughout the process, such as controlling deposits on electrodes or ensuring even use of electrodes. However, even though parameters that are associated with such profiles, such as the frequency, can have a major impact on the reaction outcome, they are often not investigated. Herein, we report the crucial impact that the applied frequency of the alternating polarity has on the observed reaction rate of Cu(I)–NHC complex formation and demonstrate that this can be manipulated to give enhanced yield that is stable over extended reaction times.

Graphical abstract: Alternating polarity for enhanced electrochemical synthesis

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Article information

Article type
08 Oct 2020
21 Oct 2020
First published
29 Oct 2020
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

React. Chem. Eng., 2021,6, 147-151

Alternating polarity for enhanced electrochemical synthesis

C. Schotten, C. J. Taylor, R. A. Bourne, T. W. Chamberlain, B. N. Nguyen, N. Kapur and C. E. Willans, React. Chem. Eng., 2021, 6, 147 DOI: 10.1039/D0RE00399A

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