In Situ Reaction Monitoring

Fast elementary processes are crucial for rapid turnover and favourable selectivity in a large variety of catalytic reactions. Such processes often present significant challenges in reaction monitoring as many can run to completion faster than traditional spectroscopic/spectrometric methods can be applied. Our group benefits from a fruitful collaboration with TgK Scientific and Bruker to develop and implement flow systems capable of rapid reaction monitoring with millisecond dead time coupled to IR, UV-vis and NMR spectrometers. Recently, we have used quenched-flow, stopped-flow IR and stopped-flow UV to measure organometallic reactions happening within milliseconds to seconds. In addition, the group has implemented a three-syringe pump stopped-flow instrument that coupled to IR or NMR has provided with not only structural information but also a much more efficient way to study reagent variation compared to previous techniques.

Theoretical work is underway in collaboration with Prof. Dušan Uhrín (Edinburgh) to expand the capabilities of this system. SHARPER (Sensitive, Homogenous, And Resolved PEaks in Real time) was developed to present a pure shift methodology that is particularly suitable for the analysis of chemical reactions and the monitoring of reaction kinetics, especially in inhomogeneous environments. Currently, further work is in progress on new NMR methods to tackle the challenge of kinetic data collection in rapid chemical reactions.


  1. Sharper: A. B. Jones, G. C. Lloyd-Jones and D. Uhrín, Anal. Chem., 2017, 89, 10013−10021.