Electron-Transfer Reactions in Mixed Solvents: An Electrochemical Probe of Unsymmetrical Selective Solvation

Robert L. Blackbourn, Joseph T. Hupp*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


One of the unique aspects of electron-transfer reactions in mixed solvents is the possibility for unsymmetrical selective solvation of reactants versus products. We have developed a versatile electrochemical method, based on reaction-entropy measurements, to detect its occurrence. The method is illustrated by results for five related redox systems: Ru(NH3)63+/2+, Ru(NH3)5(py)3+/2+, Ru(NH3)4(bpy)3+/2+, Ru(NH3)2(bpy)23+/2+, and Ru(bpy)33+/2+(bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine; py = pyridine), in mixtures of acetonitrile and dimethyl sulfoxide as solvent. The key finding is that a sharp increase (and a more gradual decrease) in reaction entropy occurs over the range of solvent composition where unsymmetrical selective solvation is significant. The dependence of the reaction entropy for Ru(NH3)5(py)3+/2+on mixed-solvent composition can be described fairly well by a simple statistical model. There are difficulties, however, in understanding the magnitudes of the observed entropy effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3786-3790
Number of pages5
JournalInorganic chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 1 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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