Observations and Theories of Quantum Effects in Proton Transfer Electrode Processes

Quantum tunneling effects play an important role in a variety of chemical reactions considerably affecting the reaction rates via opening the classically-forbidden paths and emerging as highly efficient or selective processes. However, in the case of electrochemical reactions, quantum tunneling effects are less investigated due to complicated nature of chemical interactions at the electrified interfaces. In this review, we summarize the experimental/theoretical concept of electrochemical quantum proton tunneling (EQPT), which is a key element in microscopic electrode processes. First, we review the experimental observations of EQPT, and next, we discuss possible theoretical pictures of the process. This review shows that a combination of a wide spectrum of scientific efforts is required to understand microscopic mechanism of EQPT including development of the precise electrochemistry-oriented experimental techniques and methodologies, formulation of the appropriate theoretical models for specific systems and performance of the advanced computational simulations.