Chemical reactions occurring on a potential energy surface with multiple wells are ubiquitous in low-temperature combustion and in the oxidation of volatile organic compounds in Earth's atmosphere. The rich variety of structural isomerizations that compete with collisional stabilization makes characterizing such complex-forming reactions challenging. This review describes recent experimental and theoretical advances that deliver increasingly complete views of their reaction mechanisms. New methods for creating reactive intermediates coupled with multiplexed measurements provide many experimental observables simultaneously. Automated methods to explore potential energy surfaces can uncover hidden reactive pathways, and master equation methods enable a holistic treatment of both sequential and well-skipping pathways. Our ability to probe and understand nonequilibrium effects and reaction sequences is increasing. These advances provide the fundamental science base for predictive models of combustion and the atmosphere that are crucial to address global challenges.


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