Influence of ions on aqueous acid-base reactions
We study the effects of bromide salts on the rate and mechanism of the aqueous proton/deuteron-transfer reaction between the photoacid 8-hydroxy-1,3,6-pyrenetrisulfonic acid (HPTS) and the base acetate. The proton/deuteron release is triggered by exciting HPTS with 400 nm femtosecond loser pulses. Probing the electronic and vibrational resonances of the photoacid, the conjugate photobase, the hydrated proton/deuteron and the accepting base with femtosecond visible and mid-infrared pulses monitors the proton transfer. Two reaction channels are identified: 1) direct long-range proton transfer over hydrogen-bonded water bridges that connect the acid and base and 2) acid dissociation to produce fully solvated protons followed by proton scavenging from solution by acetate. We observe that the addition of salt affects the long-range reaction pathway, and reduces both the rate at which protons are released to solution by HPTS and the rate at which solvated protons are scavenged from solution by acetate. We study the dependence of these effects on the nature and concentration of the dissolved salt.