An Unusual Salt Effect in an Interfacial Nucleophilic Substitution Reaction

Shuheng Li, Milan Mrksich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper reports a kinetic characterization of the interfacial reaction of N-methylpyrrolidine with a self-assembled monolayer presenting an iodoalkyl group. SAMDI (self-assembled monolayers for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization) mass spectrometry was used to determine the extent of reaction for monolayers that were treated with a range of concentrations of the nucleophile for a range of times. These data revealed a second-order rate constant for the reaction that was approximately 100-fold greater than that for the analogous solution-phase reaction. However, addition of sodium iodide to the reaction mixture resulted in a 7-fold decrease in the reaction rate. Addition of bromide and chloride salts also gave slower rate constants for the reaction, but only at 100- and 1000-fold higher concentrations than was observed with iodide, respectively. The corresponding solution-phase reactions, by contrast, had rate constants that were unaffected by the concentration of halide salts. This work provides a well-characterized example illustrating the extent to which the kinetics and properties of an interfacial reaction can depart substantially from their better-understood solution-phase counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6713-6718
Number of pages6
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 12 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Spectroscopy
  • General Materials Science
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Electrochemistry


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