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J Phys Chem B. 1997 Jan 23;101(4):664-73.

Binding energies of the proton-bound amino Acid dimers gly.gly, ala.ala, gly.ala, and lys.lys measured by blackbody infrared radiative dissociation.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720.


Arrhenius activation energies in the zero-pressure limit for dissociation of gas-phase proton-bound homodimers of N,N-dimethylacetamide (N,N-DMA), glycine, alanine, and lysine and the heterodimer alanine.glycine were measured using blackbody infrared radiative dissociation (BIRD). In combination with master equation modeling of the kinetic data, binding energies of these dimers were determined. A value of 1.25 +/- 0.05 eV is obtained for N,N-DMA and is in excellent agreement with that reported in the literature. The value obtained from the truncated Boltzmann model is significantly higher, indicating that the assumptions of this model do not apply to these ions. This is due to the competitive rates of photon emission and dissociation for these relatively large ions. The binding energies of the amino acid dimers are ~1.15 +/- 0.05 eV and are indistinguishable despite the difference in their gas-phase basicity and structure. The threshold dissociation energies can be accurately modeled using a range of dissociation parameters and absorption/emission rates. However, the absolute values of the dissociation rates depend more strongly on the absorption/emission rates. For N,N-DMA and glycine, an accurate fit was obtained using frequencies and transition dipole moments calculated at the ab initio RHF/2-31G* and MP2/2-31G* level, respectively. In order to obtain a similar accuracy using values obtained from AM1 semiempirical calculations, it was necessary to multiply the transition dipole moments by a factor of 3. These results demonstrate that in combination with master equation modeling, BIRD can be used to obtain accurate threshold dissociation energies of relatively small ions of biological interest.

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