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Isotope Effect

A younger student is contemplating taking Advanced Organic Chemistry CHM 338 next year and asks you about the course. To help your friend capture the essential aspects of Isotope Effects (primary and secondary), clearly illustrate in 200-300 words with appropriately drawn diagrams, mechanism that help clarify your explanation.


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The isotope effect (also called kinetic isotope effect) is a variation in the rate of a chemical reaction when an atom in one of the reactants is replaced by one of its isotopes.

An isotopic substitution will greatly modify the reaction rate when the isotopic replacement is in a chemical bond that is broken or formed. In such a case, the rate change is termed a primary isotope effect. When the substitution is not involved in the bond that is breaking or forming, one may still observe a smaller rate change, termed a secondary isotope effect. Thus, the magnitude of the ...

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The solution provides detailed explanations, including diagrams and references, in the attached Word file.