Pre-exponential factor

In chemical kinetics, the pre-exponential factor or A factor is the pre-exponential constant in the Arrhenius equation, an empirical relationship between temperature and rate coefficient. It is usually designated by A when determined from experiment, while Z is usually left for collision frequency.

The units of the pre-exponential factor A are identical to those of the rate constant and will vary depending on the order of the reaction. For a first-order reaction, it has units of s−1. For that reason, it is often called frequency factor.

According to collision theory, the frequency factor, A, depends on how often molecules collide when all concentrations are 1 mol/L and on whether the molecules are properly oriented when they collide. Values of A for some reactions can be found at Collision theory#Steric factor.

According to transition state theory, A can be expressed in terms of the entropy of activation of the reaction.


IUPAC Gold Book definition of pre-exponential factor