Adduct Ions as Diagnostic Probes of Metallosupramolecular Complexes Using Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry

Niklas Geue, Tom S. Bennett, Lennart A.I. Ramakers, Grigore A. Timco, Eric J.L. McInnes, Neil A. Burton, P. B. Armentrout, Richard E.P. Winpenny, Perdita E. Barran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Following electrospray ionization, it is common for analytes to enter the gas phase accompanied by a charge-carrying ion, and in most cases, this addition is required to enable detection in the mass spectrometer. These small charge carriers may not be influential in solution but can markedly tune the analyte properties in the gas phase. Therefore, measuring their relative influence on the target molecule can assist our understanding of the structure and stability of the analyte. As the formed adducts are usually distinguishable by their mass, differences in the behavior of the analyte resulting from these added species (e.g., structure, stability, and conformational dynamics) can be easily extracted. Here, we use ion mobility mass spectrometry, supported by density functional theory, to investigate how charge carriers (H+, Na+, K+, and Cs+) as well as water influence the disassembly, stability, and conformational landscape of the homometallic ring [Cr8F8(O2CtBu)16] and the heterometallic rotaxanes [NH2RR′][Cr7MF8(O2CtBu)16], where M = MnII, FeII, CoII, NiII, CuII, ZnII, and CdII. The results yield new insights on their disassembly mechanisms and support previously reported trends in cavity size and transition metal properties, demonstrating the potential of adduct ion studies for characterizing metallosupramolecular complexes in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2672-2679
Number of pages8
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2023


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