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Ion mobility-mass spectrometry studies of organic and organometallic complexes and reaction monitoring

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posted on 10.03.2014, 12:33 by Victoria E. Wright
Ion mobility (IM) spectrometry is a gas-phase electrophoretic technique in which ions are separated on the basis of their relative mobility in the presence of a weak electric field gradient and a buffer gas. Ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) has the capability of separating ions based on m/z, size and shape, providing additional structural information compared to using mass spectrometry on its own. In this thesis, IM-MS has been used to investigate organic and organometallic complexes and identify reactants, intermediates and products in reaction mixtures. Collision cross sections (CCS) have been measured for three salen ligands, and their complexes with copper and zinc using travelling-wave ion mobility-mass spectrometry (TWIMS) and drift tube ion mobility-mass spectrometry (DTIMS), allowing a comparative size evaluation of the ligands and complexes. CCS measurements using TWIMS were determined using peptide and TAAH calibration standards with good intra-day and inter-day reproducibility. TWIMS measurements gave significantly larger CCS than DTIMS derived data in helium, indicating that the choice of calibration standards is important in ensuring the accuracy of TWIMS derived CCS measurements. The CCS data obtained from IM-MS measurements have been compared to CCS values obtained from X-ray coordinates and modelled structures. The analysis of small organic and organometallic molecules has been extended to investigations of the potential of IM-MS for reaction monitoring and structural studies of the components of catalytic cycles. Reaction mixtures of an organocatalysed Diels-Alder cycloaddition reaction have been monitored using IM-MS and high-field asymmetric waveform ion mobility-mass spectrometry (FAIMS-MS). Reactant, product, catalyst and reaction intermediates, including an intermediate not previously detected, were identified and the catalyst and intermediates monitored over time. An organometallic catalytic cycle using a palladium catalyst has been analysed using IM-MS and the CCS of reactants, intermediates and products have been measured and compared to theoretical CCS calculations. Good agreement was observed between measured and calculated data. Species not amenable to electrospray ionisation were covalently bound to an ionisable tag containing a quaternary ammonium ion allowing the tagged molecules to be detected by IM-MS.


Loughborough University



  • Science


  • Chemistry


© Victoria Elizabeth Wright

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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