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What would be the effect of putting a solution in a strong electric field? Would the reactions in the solution be affected?

I'm thinking yes – lots (if not all) – chemistry is dependent on charge (partial/real charges) and by applying an electric field, we'd be affecting the very property of the molecules/ions that drives reactions.

Has this been researched?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Would the reactions in the solution be affected?

Yes, they can be. Here are some nice examples. Electric fields also exert a significant effect on electron transfer reactions. Basically you would expect charged molecules to be more affected than polar molecules, which should be more affected than non-polar, but polarizable molecules. It's just a question of how big a field you can produce and how polarized and long-lived are the various entities (starting materials, intermediates, etc.) that exist along the reaction coordinate.

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