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10/06/16

Mulheim scientists simulate how solvent molecules cooperate in reactions

Mulheim scientists simulate how solvent molecules cooperate in reactions

The solvent is far more than just the environment for a chemical reaction. This was revealed in a recent study with participation of Group Leader Dr. Elsa Sánchez-García and Dr. Pandian Sokkar from the Department of Theory of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung led by Professor Walter Thiel.

The theoretical simulations showed in combination with experimental studies that molecules from the solvent environment that at first glance seem to be uninvolved can be essential for chemical reactions. Together with researchers from the Ruhr University Bochum and the University of Wurzburg they studied ether formation in pure solvents and in their mixtures. The team unraveled the underlying mechanisms in detail using advanced spectroscopic and theoretical techniques. The conclusion: even solvent molecules that do not participate directly in the reaction are essential for the reaction process and can significantly influence the reaction partners.


The results were described in the journal “Nature Communications”.
More information in the press release of the Ruhr University Bochum
 

Photo: Prof. Dr. Walter Thiel, Dr. Elsa Sánchez-García, Dr. Pandian Sokkar