Chemical Kinetics and Reaction Mechanisms

Study reaction rates under different experimental conditions

The study of the reaction kinetics can yield tremendous insight into the mechanisms of a chemical reaction. APL stopped-flow and laser-flash photolysis instruments are excellent tools for measurements of reaction kinetics to provide insight into chemical reaction mechanisms.


Chemical kinetics involves the the study of rates of chemical processes. Measurements of the rates of reactions under different experimental conditions (for instance pH, solvent, concentration and temperature) allow the construction of mathematical models that satisfy and describe the characteristics of a chemical reaction. This model provides insights into the reaction mechanism and transition states involved in the chemical process.


Stopped-flow spectrophotometers like the SX20 allow the following of reaction kinetics, initiated by the mixing of two (or more) reactants, from the millisecond time range onwards. This allows a very diverse range of mechanism of many different types of fast chemical process to be studied. For a more in depth explanation of the stopped-flow method please read the tutorial.


Laser flash photolysis using the LKS80 allows the reactions occurring in the nanosecond time range to be studied. Reactions are initiated by a very brief pulse of laser light. Then data is collected using a number of spectrometric techniques. This allows ultrafast reactions processes to be studied, provided that the process can be initiated with a flash of laser light. For a more in depth explanation of the laser flash photolysis method please read the tutorial.

The British Assessment Bureau