Theoretical Chemistry Accounts

, 134:133 | Cite as

Insights into the chemical meanings of the reaction electronic flux

  • Christophe MorellEmail author
  • Vincent TognettiEmail author
  • Emmanuelle Bignon
  • Elise Dumont
  • Noemi Hernandez-Haro
  • Barbara Herrera
  • André Grand
  • Soledad Gutiérrez-Oliva
  • Laurent Joubert
  • Alejandro Toro-Labbé
  • Henry Chermette
Regular Article


The negative derivative of the chemical potential with respect to the reaction coordinate is called reaction electronic flux and has recently focused a wide interest to better understand chemical reactions at molecular level. After much consideration, it is now well accepted that positive REF values are associated with spontaneous processes, while negative REF ones translate unspontaneous phenomena. These characteristics of the REF are based on a thermodynamic analogy and have been shown right through computational results. In this paper, we develop two analytical expressions of the REF in both the canonical and the grand canonical ensembles. The connection between both equations is established. They are then analyzed, and some arguments are put forward to support the alleged characteristic of the REF and its ability to properly discriminate spontaneous from unspontaneous phenomena.


Conceptual DFT Chemical potential Reaction electronic flux Spontaneous process 



The research benefited from the support of Aviesan ITMO Cancer within the ‘‘Cancer Plan 2009–2013’’ and the application of Action 3.3. CM, AG, HC, ATL, BH and SG-O thank the joint program ECOS-CONICYT through action project ECOS No. C11E03. V.T. and L.J. gratefully acknowledge the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) for a “Chaire d’Excellence” at the University of Rouen, the LABEX SynOrg for funding, and the CRIHAN computational centre for providing computational resources. HC acknowledges the GENCI/CINES for HPC resources/computer time (Project cpt2130). ATL, BH, SG-O acknowledge Project Nucleus Millenium CPC: ICM No. 120082 and Projects FONDECYT Nos. 1120093, 1130072 and 1141098.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christophe Morell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vincent Tognetti
    • 2
    Email author
  • Emmanuelle Bignon
    • 1
    • 3
  • Elise Dumont
    • 3
  • Noemi Hernandez-Haro
    • 4
  • Barbara Herrera
    • 5
  • André Grand
    • 4
  • Soledad Gutiérrez-Oliva
    • 5
  • Laurent Joubert
    • 2
  • Alejandro Toro-Labbé
    • 5
  • Henry Chermette
    • 1
  1. 1.Université de Lyon, Institut des Sciences Analytiques, UMR 5280, CNRSUniversité Claude Bernard Lyon 1VilleurbanneFrance
  2. 2.Normandy University, COBRA UMR 6014 & FR 3038Université de Rouen, INSA Rouen, CNRSMont St Aignan. CedexFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Chimie, UMR 5182CNRS Ecole Normale Supérieure de LyonLyonFrance
  4. 4.CEA Grenoble -INAC/SCIB/LAN (UMR-E n°3 CEA-UJF)CEA-GrenobleGrenoble Cedex 9France
  5. 5.Nucleus Millenium Chemical Processes and Catalysis (CPC), Laboratorio de Quimica Teorica Computacional (QTC), Facultad de QuimicaPontificia Universidad Catolica de ChileSantiagoChile

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