# How does temperature affect SN1 reactions?

Mar 20, 2017

A rise in temperature should accelerate a bond-breaking reaction......

#### Explanation:

Of course, temperature increase generally increases the rate of most chemical reactions, however, for a typical ${S}_{N} 1$ reaction, we may invoke the following elemental step:

$R C H \left(X\right) R ' r i g h t \le f t h a r p \infty n s R {C}^{+} H R ' + {X}^{-}$

And this is the rate determining step of the reaction.........

And because this, the rate determining step, involves BOND-BREAKING, we would predict that an increase in temperature should result in the production of more $R {C}^{+} H R$ species, and thus an INCREASE in the rate of reaction..........

Another way to look at this is to include heat, i.e. $\Delta$, as a virtual reactant.............

$R C H \left(X\right) R ' + \Delta r i g h t \le f t h a r p \infty n s R {C}^{+} H R ' + {X}^{-}$

If we raise the temperature, we supply $\Delta$, and, therefore, we should drive the equilibrium to the RIGHT as shown.