skip to main content


Title: Reaction Mechanisms on Multiwell Potential Energy Surfaces in Combustion (and Atmospheric) Chemistry

Chemical reactions occurring on a potential energy surface with multiple wells are ubiquitous in low temperature combustion and the oxidation of volatile organic compounds in earth’s atmosphere. The rich variety of structural isomerizations that compete with collisional stabilization make characterizing such complex-forming reactions challenging. This review describes recent experimental and theoretical advances that deliver increasingly complete views of their reaction mechanisms. New methods for creating reactive intermediates coupled with multiplexed measurements provide many experimental observables simultaneously. Automated methods to explore potential energy surfaces can uncover hidden reactive pathways, while master equation methods enable a holistic treatment of both sequential and well-skipping pathways. Our ability to probe and understand nonequilibrium effects and reaction sequences is increasing. These advances provide the fundamental science base for predictive models of combustion and the atmosphere that are crucial to address global challenges.
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0066-426X; 648118; TRN: US1700608
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Annual Review of Physical Chemistry
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 68; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0066-426X
Annual Reviews
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; reaction intermediates; multiplexed experiments; master equation kinetics; nonequilibrium reactions; reaction sequences
OSTI Identifier: