The ground-state deprotection of a simple alkynylsilane is studied under vibrational strong coupling to the zero-point fluctuations, or vacuum electromagnetic field, of a resonant IR microfluidic cavity. The reaction rate decreased by a factor of up to 5.5 when the Si-C vibrational stretching modes of the reactant were strongly coupled. The relative change in the reaction rate under strong coupling depends on the Rabi splitting energy. Product analysis by GC-MS confirmed the kinetic results. Temperature dependence shows that the activation enthalpy and entropy change significantly, suggesting that the transition state is modified from an associative to a dissociative type. These findings show that vibrational strong coupling provides a powerful approach for modifying and controlling chemical landscapes and for understanding reaction mechanisms.
Keywords: IR spectroscopy; kinetics; strong coupling; thermodynamics; vibrations.
© 2016 The Authors. Published by Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.