The spectroelectrochemical technique of open circuit relaxation (OCR) has found limited application in the kinetic characterization of systems wherein the electrogenated absorbing species is consumed in a second or higher order reaction. This limited usage arises from the inapplicability of conventional homogeneous kinetic data analysis techniques to the absorbance-time transients observed in the OCR experiment. Treatment of such transients by conventional kinetic expressions (e.g., 1/A vs. t for second order reactions) results in non-linear plots which neither serve as diagnostic criteria for the assignment of kinetic order nor provide meaningful rate constants. This paper presents an empirical method for the treatment of spectroelectrochemical OCR data arising from post-electron transfer kinetic processes which exhibit second order dependence on the concentration of the electrogenerated absorbing species. This procedure, which takes into account the inhomogeneous distribution of the reactant species, affords reduced data plots which not only are linear, hence diagnostic of kinetic order, but also provide a valid measure of the bimolecular rate parameters characteristic of this type of dynamic system. The procedure has been applied to the treatment of OCR data for the reaction of 9,10-diphenylanthracene cation radical with 4-cyanopyridine in acetonitrile. Excellent agreement between the resulting kinetic parameters and those obtained using stopped-flow techniques has been demonstrated.
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