On the curvature in logarithmic plots of rate coefficients for chemical reactions
Dipartimento di Chimica Generale e Chimica Organica, Università di Torino Corso Massimo d'Azeglio 48, 10125 Torino, Italy
Chemistry Central Journal 2011, 5:22 doi:10.1186/1752-153X-5-22Published: 6 May 2011
In terms of the reduced potential energy barrier ζ = ΔuTS/kT, the rate coefficients for chemical reactions are usually expressed as proportional to e-ζ. The coupling between vibrational modes of the medium to the reaction coordinate leads to a proportionality of the regularized gamma function of Euler Q(a,ζ) = Γ(a,ζ)/Γ(a), with a being the number of modes coupled to the reaction coordinate. In this work, the experimental rate coefficients at various temperatures for several chemical reactions were fitted to the theoretical expression in terms of Q(a,ζ) to determine the extent of its validity and generality. The new expression affords lower deviations from the experimental points in 29 cases out of 38 and it accounts for the curvature in the logarithmic plots of rate coefficients versus inverse temperature. In the absence of tunneling, conventional theories predict the curvature of these plots to be identically zero.