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Comment on PCCP 2020.pdf (447.98 kB)
Comment on “On the SN2 Reactions Modified in Vibrational Strong Coupling Experiments: Reaction Mechanisms and Vibrational Mode Assignments"
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We welcome the large number of theoretical studies to analyze our experiments on
chemistry under VSC. As Climent and Feist state in their recent article, many details are not
1 However, there should be no need to misrepresent our results. In their paper, the
authors re-analyze, not the chemistry under VSC, but the reactions that we used that have been
studied for over half a century and for which there is no consensus about the details of the
2 Secondly, they try to assign the vibrational bands of the reactants. Indeed, as they
find, they are often mixed (coupled vibrational modes). For simplicity, it is commonplace in
chemistry to describe vibrations according to their main contribution, a convention that we follow
in our papers. Since there are differences between our results and their calculations, they assume
that our assignments are wrong. Finally, they conclude that we must have coupled the solvent,
apparently by a higher cavity mode, despite the experimental proof to the contrary in the original
paper.3 The proof that the solvent was not coupled is reproduced below for those who are interested,
together with one example of an unequivocal assignment that was in the supplementary material,
which Climent and Feist presumably overlooked.