Reduction of an electron acceptor (oxidant), A, or
oxidation of an electron donor (reductant), A2−, is often achieved stepwise via one‐electron processes involving the couples A/A⋅− or A⋅−/A2− (or corresponding prototropic conjugates such as A/AH⋅ or AH⋅/AH2). The intermediate A⋅−(AH⋅) is a free radical. The reduction potentials of such one‐electron couples are of value in predicting the direction or feasibility, and in some instances the rate constants, of many free‐radical reactions. Electrochemical methods have limited applicability in measuring these properties of frequently unstable species, but fast, kinetic spectrophotometry (especially pulse radiolysis) has widespread application in this area. Tables of ca. 1200 values of reduction potentials of ca. 700 one‐electron couples in aqueous solution are presented. The majority of organic oxidants listed are quinones, nitroaryl and bipyridinium compounds. Reductants include phenols, aromatic amines, indoles and pyrimidines, thiols and phenothiazines. Inorganic couples largely involve compounds of oxygen, sulfur, nitrogen and the halogens. Proteins, enzymes and metals and their complexes are excluded.
- © 1989 American Institute of Physics for the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
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