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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2008 Mar;19(3):375-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jasms.2007.11.014. Epub 2007 Nov 29.

Gas-phase observation of the heterolytic dissociation of negative ions into counter ions: dissociation of [Cu phthalocyanine (SO3)4Na]3-.

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Department of Chemistry, Centre for Research in Mass Spectrometry and Centre for Research in Earth and Space Science, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Ion pair formation proceeding in solution at room-temperature, where it is driven by energies of solvation, has been observed in the gas-phase in the collision-induced dissociation of [Cu phthalocyanine (SO3)4Na]3- and [Cu phthalocyanine (SO3)4Na2]2- at low energies. The gas-phase observation of these charge separations into positive and negative ions, seemingly counter-intuitive, is favored sufficiently by thermodynamics to proceed at low collision energies. The combination of a high stability of the negative product anion against electron detachment and a low recombination energy of the departing positive counter ion appears to be the key requirement for such dissociations to proceed at low energies in the gas-phase.

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