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J Am Chem Soc. 2007 Aug 22;129(33):10141-8. Epub 2007 Jul 26.

Dissociation reactions of free tetrapyridinium tetracations and of their catenanes.

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  • 1Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Flemingovo nAm. 2, 16610 Prague 6, Czech Republic.


Electrospray ionization from methanolic solution can be used for the generation of the free cyclophane tetracations 1(4+) -3(4+) from the corresponding hexafluorophosphates. In the idealized gas phase, these tetracations are long-lived and can easily be handled for further spectroscopic studies. Collision-induced dissociation of the free tetracations brings about charge separation via cleavage of the pyridinium bonds, leading to a pair of dications. Subsequently, these dications undergo another charge separation reaction to finally afford singly charged cations. In addition to the free tetracations, also the corresponding trications having one PF6- counterion are examined. Collision-induced dissociation of the trications leads to a formal substitution reaction concomitant with C-F bond formation. Further, the catenanes of the tetracations 1(4+) -3(4+) with bis-p-phenylene-34-crown-10 (4) are investigated. For the parent compound 1, also the gas-phase infrared spectrum is reported for the first time.

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