Cryogenic ion mobility-mass spectrometry for the study of conformations of host-guest complexes
Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Tohoku University, 980-8578, Sendai, Japan
Accepted: 31 March 2023
Published online: 21 April 2023
Variable-temperature cryogenic ion mobility-mass spectrometry (VT-Cryo-IM-MS) was developed to examine the conformations of host-guest complexes. The VT-Cryo-IM-MS consists of an electrospray ionization source, a quadrupole ion trap, a cryogenic ion drift tube, and a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. The ion drift tube was cooled to 83 K with liquid nitrogen. Two sets of ion funnels are installed at the source and the drift tube to focus the ion beam. We used Li+-encapsulated fullerene (Li+@C60) as a reference ion to examine the ion-mobility resolution of the VT-Cryo-IM-MS apparatus because this ion has a rigid structure with a single conformer. The temperature dependence of collision cross section (CCS) of Li+@C60 and the resolution of the apparatus were determined at each temperature. We examined the conformations of host-guest complexes of a series of metal ions (M = Ca2+, Na+, Ag+, K+, Rb+, and Cs+) with dibenzo-24-crown-8 (DB24C8) by Cryo-IM-MS. All CCS distributions were fitted with two Gaussian functions which are assigned to closed and open conformers. These closed and open conformers have different distances between the two benzene rings of DB24C8. The abundance ratio of closed conformers for these M(DB24C8) complex ions depends on the guest M ion with an order, Ca2+ < Na+ < Ag+ < Cs+ < Rb+ < K+. The stability of the closed conformer of K+(DB24C8) originates from the benzene ring positional relationship which is quite close to that of the free benzene dimer. This special benzene dimer-like conformation produces the strong π-π interaction between the benzene rings of K+(DB24C8).
Key words: Ion mobility-mass spectrometry / Host–guest complex / Crown ether / Isomer separation / Conformation
© The Author(s) 2023
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