Homogeneous catalysts with a mechanical (machine-like) action

Gerhard F. Swiegers, Junhua Huang, Robin Brimblecombe, Jun Chen, G. Charles Dismukes, Ulrich T. Mueller-Westerhoff, Leone Spiccia, Gordon C. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Chemical reactions may be controlled by either: 1) the minimum threshold energy that must be overcome during collisions between reactant molecules/ atoms (the activation energy, Ea), or: 2) the rate at which reactant collisions occur (the collision frequency, A)-for reactions with low Ea. Reactions of type 2 are governed by the physical, mechanical interaction of the reactants. Such mechanical processes are unusual, but not unknown in molecular catalysts. In this work we examine the machine-like nature of the action in various abiological mechanical catalysts and consider the implications for mimicry of biological catalysts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4746-4759
Number of pages14
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - May 4 2009


  • Biomimetic synthesis
  • Collision frequency
  • Homogeneous catalysis
  • Mechanical reaction
  • Nonequilibrium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry

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