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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 1993 Mar;4(3):242-8. doi: 10.1016/1044-0305(93)85087-E.

Gas-phase complexation of polyethers with halide ions.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Texas, 78712-1167, Austin, TX, USA.


Gas-phase complexes of halide anions with a variety of crown ethers and acyclic analogs are formed by ion-molecule reactions in the chemical ionization source of a triple-quadrupole mass spectrometer. The ether complexes of iodide, bromide, and chloride dissociate on collisional activation by cleavage of the halide-ether electrostatic hydrogen bonds, resulting in the formation of bare halide anions. By contrast, the fluoride complexes dissociate by loss of HF, which may occur in conjunction or sequentially with losses of ethylene oxide units. This dissociation behavior is similar to that observed for collisionally activated dissociation of [M - H](-) ions of the crown ethers and suggests that the fluoride ion is capable of promoting an intramolecular proton abstraction within the [M+F](-) complex. This type of dissociation chemistry is only observed for the fluoride ion complexes, and the fluoride ion is the most basic of all the halides. The kinetic method was used to establish orders of relative halide binding strengths, and the trends for the chloride and bromide affinities were 12-crown-4 < triethylene glycol dimethyl ether < 15-crown-5 < tetraethylene glycol dimethyl ether < 18-crown-6 < 21-crown-7 < tetraethylene glycol < pentaethylene glycol < 1,4,7,10,13-pentathiacyclopentadecane.

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