chain reaction
A reaction in which one or more reactive reaction intermediates (frequently radicals) are continuously regenerated, usually through a repetitive cycle of elementary steps (the 'propagation step'). For example, in the chlorination of methane by a radical mechanism, Cl· is continuously regenerated in the chain propagation steps:
In chain polymerization reactions, reactive intermediates of the same types, generated in successive steps or cycles of steps, differ in relative molecular mass, as in:
See also: chain branching, chain transfer, degenerate chain branching, initiation, termination
PAC, 1993, 65, 2291. 'Nomenclature of kinetic methods of analysis (IUPAC Recommendations 1993)' on page 2293 (
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077. 'Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)' on page 1094 (
PAC, 1996, 68, 149. 'A glossary of terms used in chemical kinetics, including reaction dynamics (IUPAC Recommendations 1996)' on page 157 (
See also:
PAC, 1990, 62, 2167. 'Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990)' on page 2179 (