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J Am Chem Soc. 2005 Sep 14;127(36):12490-1.

Electrochemical approach to concerted proton and electron transfers. Reduction of the water-superoxide ion complex.

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Laboratoire d'Electrochimie Moléculaire, Université de Paris 7--Denis Diderot, Case Courrier 7107, 2 place Jussieu, 75251 Paris Cedex 05, France.


Concerted proton and electron transfers (CPET) currently attract considerable theoretical and experimental attention, notably in view of their likely involvement in many enzymatic reactions. Electrochemistry, through techniques such as cyclic voltammetry, can provide a quite effective access to CPET in terms of diagnosis and quantitative kinetic characterization. The relationships expressing the rate constant of an electrochemical CPET are given. Besides the CPET standard potential, it depends on two main factors. One is the reorganization energy, which appears as the sum of an intramolecular contribution and two solvent reorganization energies corresponding to proton and electron transfers, respectively. The other is the pre-exponential factor that mainly depends on proton tunneling through the activation barrier. Procedures for estimating these various factors as well as the H/D kinetic isotope effect are described. Application of the theory is illustrated by the experimental results obtained for the cyclic voltammetric reduction of the water-superoxide ion complex in dimethylformamide and acetonitrile.

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