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Mass Spectrom Rev. 2005 Nov-Dec;24(6):931-58.

Recent developments in the ion/ion chemistry of high-mass multiply charged ions.

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Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2084, USA.


The ability to form multiply charged high-mass ions in the gas-phase, most notably via electrospray ionization (ESI), has allowed the study of many different combinations of positively and negatively charged ions. The charged products are directly amenable to study with mass spectrometry. Ion/ion reactions have proved to be "universal" in the sense that the high exothermicities and large rate constants associated with essentially any combination of oppositely charged ions lead to reaction regardless of the chemical functionalities associated with the ions. These characteristics make ion/ion reactions potentially analytically useful provided reagent ion densities and spatial overlap of the oppositely charged ions are high. These conditions can be readily met by several instrumental configurations. The focus of this review is to highlight developments in this field since 1998. Novel instrumentation has been developed to study ion/ion reactions, such as atmospheric pressure ion/ion reactors followed by mass analysis, or electrodynamic ion trap mass spectrometers, which are used as reaction vessels at sub-atmospheric pressures. A wide variety of reaction phenomenologies have been observed in various ion/ion reactions, with proton transfer being the most common. New phenomenologies have been observed in the reactions of multiply charged positive ions with singly charged negative ions, including cation transfer and cation exchange. A new series of reactions between multiply charged positive ions and multiply charged negative ions have been made possible by recent instrumentation developments. These reactions have led to the observation of proton transfer and complex formation. These observations have provided new insights into ion/ion reaction dynamics and a bound orbit model appears to best account for experimental results. New applications are also discussed for a several ion/ion reaction.

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