Studying and controlling reactions at surfaces is of great fundamental and applied interest in, among others, biology, electronics and catalysis. Because reaction kinetics is different at surfaces compared with solution, frequently, solution-characterization techniques cannot be used. Here we report solution gradients, prepared by electrochemical means, for controlling and monitoring reactivity at surfaces in space and time. As a proof of principle, electrochemically derived gradients of a reaction parameter (pH) and of a catalyst (Cu(I)) have been employed to make surface gradients on the micron scale and to study the kinetics of the (surface-confined) imine hydrolysis and the copper(I)-catalysed azide-alkyne 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition, respectively. For both systems, the kinetic data were spatially visualized in a two-dimensional reactivity map. In the case of the copper(I)-catalysed azide-alkyne 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition, the reaction order (2) was deduced from it.
Krabbenborg, S., Nicosia, C., Chen, P., & Huskens, J. (2013). Reactivity mapping: electrochemical gradients for monitoring reactivity at surfaces in space and time. Nature communications, 4(1667), 1-7. . https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2688