Mechanochemistry - before it had a name.

February 25, 2020.

The recent surge in mechanochemistry is highlighting specific examples from a long gone past where it was used, but was not called mechanochemistry.

Check the bottom paragraph to right on the photo.

One such paper I have recently found purely by accident. I was perusing in the library and randomly picked out an old issue of JACS.

It happened to be from 1911 and I found a paper describing the preparation of potassium copper chloride and ammonium copper chloride double salts.

The authors needed to employ comminution of solids in order to achieve equilibrium composition of the reaction mixture (i.e. to have the reaction complete), which they accomplished by placing glass rods in a glass ampule with reactants and rotating to allow the rods experience a fall each time the bottle is rotated and crush the solids inside. They found rods to work better than glass beads, because they were heavier.

Solid-state diffusion is slow and comminution of particles significantly accelerates it. A hundred years later, give or take, we have directly measured this in our recent JACS paper by Lukin et al.

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