IUPAC > Gold Book > alphabetical index > K > kinetic isotope effect


kinetic isotope effect

The effect of isotopic substitution on a rate constant is referred to as a kinetic isotope effect. For example, in the reaction:
the effect of isotopic substitution in reactant A is expressed as the ratio of rate constants k l k h, where the superscripts l and h represent reactions in which the molecules A contain the light and heavy isotopes, respectively. Within the framework of transition state theory in which the reaction is rewritten as:
and with neglect of isotopic mass on tunnelling and the transmission coefficient, k l k h can be regarded as if it were the equilibrium constant for an isotope exchange reaction between the transition state [TS] and the isotopically substituted reactant A, and calculated from their vibrational frequencies as in the case of a thermodynamic isotope effect. Isotope effects like the above, involving a direct or indirect comparison of the rates of reaction of isotopologues, are called 'intermolecular', in contrast to intramolecular isotope effects, in which a single substrate reacts to produce a non-statistical distribution of isotopomeric product molecules.
See also: isotope effect
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077 (Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)) on page 1130
Interactive Link Maps
First LevelSecond LevelThird Level
Cite as:
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
DOI of this term: doi:10.1351/goldbook.K03405.
Original PDF version: http://www.iupac.org/goldbook/K03405.pdf. The PDF version is out of date and is provided for reference purposes only. For some entries, the PDF version may be unavailable.
Current PDF version | Version for print | History of this term