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Proton-bound cluster ions in ion mobility spectrometryGaseous oxygen and nitrogen bases, both singly and as binary mixtures, have been introduced into ion mobility spectrometers to study the appearance of protonated molecules, and proton-bound dimers and trimers. At ambient temperature it was possible to simultaneously observe, following the introduction of molecule A, comparable intensities of peaks ascribable to the reactant ion (H2O)nH+, the protonated molecule AH+ and AH+ H2O, and the symmetrical proton bound dimer A2H+. Mass spectral identification confirmed the identifications and also showed that the majority of the protonated molecules were hydrated and that the proton-bound dimers were hydrated to a much lesser extent. No significant peaks ascribable to proton-bound trimers were obtained no matter how high the sample concentration. Binary mixtures containing molecules A and B, in some cases gave not only the peaks unique to the individual compounds but also peaks due to asymmetrical proton bound dimers AHB+. Such ions were always present in the spectra of mixtures of oxygen bases but were not observed for several mixtures of oxygen and nitrogen bases. The dimers, which were not observable, notable for their low hydrogen bond strengths, must have decomposed in their passage from the ion source to the detector, i.e. in a time less than approximately 5 ms. When the temperature was lowered to -20 degrees C, trimers, both homogeneous and mixed, were observed with mixtures of alcohols. The importance of hydrogen bond energy, and hence operating temperature, in determining the degree of solvation of the ions that will be observed in an ion mobility spectrometer is stressed. The possibility is discussed that a displacement reaction involving ambient water plays a role in the dissociation.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Ewing, R. G. (New Mexico State University Las Cruces 88003, United States)
Eiceman, G. A.
Stone, J. A.
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
October 28, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: International journal of mass spectrometry and ion processes
Volume: 193
Issue: 1
ISSN: 0168-1176
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Non-NASA Center
NASA Discipline Environmental Health