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J Am Chem Soc. 2013 Apr 24;135(16):6122-9. doi: 10.1021/ja312133k. Epub 2013 Apr 12.

Probing hydrogen bond energies by mass spectrometry.

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State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces and Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China.


Mass spectrometry with desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) is demonstrated to be useful for probing the strength of hydrogen bonding, exemplified by various complexes of benzothiazoles and carboxylic acids in the solid state. Efficiencies for fragmentation of the complexes, quantified by collision-induced dissociation (CID) technology, correspond well with energies of the hydrogen bonds of O-H···N and N-H···O bridging each pair of benzothiazole and carboxylic acid. Linear correlations (with correlation factors of 0.8953 and 0.9928) have been established for the calibration curves of normalized collision energy at 100% fragmentation rate vs the length between donor and acceptor (in the hydrogen bond of O-H···N) as well as the slope of the fragmentation efficiency curve vs the average length difference between O-H···N and N-H···O in the complex. The mechanism responsible for determination of the hydrogen bonds is proposed on the basis of the experiments starting from the mixtures of the complexes as well as labeling with deuterium. As a complement of previously available methods (e.g., X-ray diffraction analysis), expectably, the proposed mass spectrometric method seems to be versatile for probing hydrogen bond energies.

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