Energy phase shift as mechanism for catalysis

Tamás Beke-Somfai, Bobo Feng, Bengt Nordén

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Catalysts are agents that by binding reactant molecules lower the energy barriers to chemical reaction. After reaction the catalyst is regenerated, its unbinding energy recruited from the environment, which is associated with an inevitable loss of energy. We show that combining several catalytic sites to become energetically and temporally phase-shifted relative to each other provides a possibility to sustain the overall reaction by internal 'energy recycling', bypassing the need for thermal activation, and in principle allowing the system to work adiabatically. Using an analytical model for superimposed, phase-shifted potentials of F 1-ATP synthase provides a description integrating main characteristics of this rotary enzyme complex. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-172
Number of pages4
JournalChemical Physics Letters
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Grants from KAUST and ERC are gratefully acknowledged.
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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