Research ArticlePHYSICS

Electric field–catalyzed single-molecule Diels-Alder reaction dynamics

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  20 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 4, eabf0689
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf0689

Abstract

Precise time trajectories and detailed reaction pathways of the Diels-Alder reaction were directly observed using accurate single-molecule detection on an in situ label-free single-molecule electrical detection platform. This study demonstrates the well-accepted concerted mechanism and clarifies the role of charge transfer complexes with endo or exo configurations on the reaction path. An unprecedented stepwise pathway was verified at high temperatures in a high-voltage electric field. Experiments and theoretical results revealed an electric field–catalyzed mechanism that shows the presence of a zwitterionic intermediate with one bond formation and variation of concerted and stepwise reactions by the strength of the electric field, thus establishing a previously unidentified approach for mechanistic control by electric field catalysis.

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances