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J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Aug 6;125(31):9284-5.

Cucurbit[6]uril pseudorotaxanes: distinctive gas-phase dissociation and reactivity.

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Brigham Young University, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, C100 BNSN, Provo, Utah 84602-5700, USA.


Cucurbit[6]uril forms a doubly charged complex with 1,4-butanediammonium cation that is observed using electrospray ionization Fourier transform mass spectrometry. Such 1:1 complexes are not observed for the smaller cucurbit[5]uril, which forms a 2:1 ammonium:cucurbituril complex instead. The 1:1 complex with cucurbit[6]uril is difficult to fragment via collisional activation; when it does fragment, both breakup of the cucurbituril cage and loss of the amine are observed. Further, the complex reacts with tert-butylamine via slow adduction. In contrast, nonrotaxane analogues (such as doubly charged 2:1 complexes of either protonated 1,4-butanediamine or protonated ethylenediamine with cucurbit[6]uril) fragment via easy loss of the intact amine upon collisional activation and react with tert-butylamine via rapid displacement of the original amine. On the basis of stoichiometry, fragmentation behavior, and reactivity, we conclude that the doubly charged complex of cucurbit[6]uril with 1,4-butanediammonium is a gas-phase pseudorotaxane.

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