Ultrafast Aqueous Bimolecular Acid-Base Proton Transfer: from Direct Exchange to Sequential Hopping
We explore the aqueous bimolecular neutralization reaction between a photoacid ROH and carboxylate bases −OOCR’ and show that proton transfer in loose complexes (ROH··H2O··−OOCR’) occurs through intermediate water molecules in a sequential von Grotthuss type fashion, with the second step having similar reaction rates as those of the encounter complexes formed after mutual diffusion.
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