Molecular structure characterization by isotopic splitting in nonlinear ion mobility spectra
Kaszycki, Julia L.
Baird, Matthew A.
Shvartsburg, Alexandre A.
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Julia L. Kaszycki, Matthew A. Baird, and Alexandre A. Shvartsburg. Molecular Structure Characterization by Isotopic Splitting in Nonlinear Ion Mobility Spectra. Analytical Chemistry, 2018 90 (1), 669-673
Nearly all compounds comprise numerous isotopologues ensuing from stable natural isotopes for constituent elements. The consequent isotopic envelopes in mass spectra can reveal the ion stoichiometry but not geometry. We found those envelopes to split in differential ion mobility (FAIMS) spectra in a manner dependent on the ion geometry and buffer gas composition. The resulting multidimensional matrix of isotopic shifts is specific to isomers, providing a fundamentally new approach to the characterization of chemical structure. The physical origins of the effect remain to be clarified but likely ensue from the transposition of center of mass of the ion within its geometry frame affecting the partition of energy in above-thermal collisions between the translational and rotational degrees of freedom. The additivity of shifts, holding with no exception so far, may be the key to unraveling the foundations of observed behavior.
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