Electron transfer through vesicle membranes: Mechanistic ambiguities

Leif Hammarström, Mats Almgren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We have studied transmembrane electron transfer mediated by an amphiphilic viologen (C16,1′ V2+) in lecithin vesicles. There is no long-range electron transfer between viologens bound to opposite interfaces of the vesicle membrane, as is often proposed. Instead we proposed a mechanism where the rate-determining step is the disproportionation of two viologen radical cations (2C16,1′ V+ ⇔C16,1′ V2+ + C16,1′ V0) forming a doubly reduced, uncharged viologen that transfers electrons by rapid transmembrane diffusion and subsequent reduction of electron acceptors. Studies on other redox mediators provided further information. A brief background to the field is given, including comments on work done by others in relevant systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)539-554
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Chemical Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1993


  • Electron transfer
  • disproportionation mechanism
  • membrane
  • viologen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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