Organic Reactions in Microdroplets: Reaction Acceleration Revealed by Mass Spectrometry. Academic Article uri icon


  • The striking finding that reaction acceleration occurs in confined-volume solutions sets up an apparent conundrum: Microdroplets formed by spray ionization can be used to monitor the course of bulk-phase reactions and also to accelerate reactions between the reagents in such a reaction. This Minireview introduces droplet and thin-film acceleration phenomena and summarizes recent methods applied to study accelerated reactions in confined-volume, high-surface-area solutions. Conditions that dictate either simple monitoring or acceleration are reconciled in the occurrence of discontinuous and complete desolvation as the endpoint of droplet evolution. The contrasting features of microdroplet and bulk-solution reactions are described together with possible mechanisms that drive reaction acceleration in microdroplets. Current applications of droplet microreactors are noted as is reaction acceleration in confined volumes and possible future scale-up.

published proceedings

  • Angew Chem Int Ed Engl

altmetric score

  • 27.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Yan, X., Bain, R. M., & Cooks, R. G.

citation count

  • 205

complete list of authors

  • Yan, Xin||Bain, Ryan M||Cooks, R Graham

publication date

  • October 2016