Scientists at the University of Leicester are on the way to solving a problem that has long beset chemists trying to study chemical reactions.
To establish reaction mechanisms the observation of reaction intermediates is vital, but they are incredibly short-lived under normal conditions, and therefore difficult to detect. Freezing the reaction – known as matrix isolation - has been employed for many years, but produces rigid solids in which molecules are trapped and therefore motionless.
Chemistry revolves around the making and breaking of chemical bonds. Molecules must correctly orient themselves with respect to one another so that they can react, and as reaction progresses various chemical intermediates, such as free radicals, may be formed.
Barbara Whiteman | Alphagalileo
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