Electron Transfer and Chemical Reactions—Stepwise or Concerted? On the Competition between Nucleophilic Substitution and Electron Transfer


  • I thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft for a Heisenberg fellowship, J.-M. Savéant, Paris, and H. Lund, Aarhus, for kindly supplying me with pre- and reprints, and U. Bee for technical help in preparing Figure 2.

  • Dedicated to Professor Michael Hanack on the occasion of his 65th birthday


The subject of an exciting debate—does electron transfer play a role in bimolecular nucleophilic substitution (a)? How would this reaction differ from the classical SN2 reaction (b)? A number of research groups have employed electrochemical and computational methods to determine if alternatives exist for one of the best known mechanisms in organic chemistry.

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