Structurally informative isotopic shifts in ion mobility spectra for heavier species
Baird, Matthew A.
Shvartsburg, Alexandre A.
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Pratima Pathak, Matthew A. Baird, and Alexandre A. Shvartsburg. Structurally informative isotopic shifts in ion mobility spectra for heavier species. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 2020 31 (1), 137-145
The isotopic molecular envelopes due to stable isotopes for most elements were a staple of mass spectrometry since its origins, often leveraged to identify and quantify compounds. However, all isomers share one MS envelope. As the molecular motion in media also depends on the isotopic composition, separations such as liquid chromatography (LC) and ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) must also feature isotopic envelopes. These were largely not observed because of limited resolution, except for the (structurally uninformative) shifts in LC upon H/D exchange. We recently found the isotopic shifts in FAIMS for small haloanilines (∼130–170 Da) to hinge on the halogen position, opening a novel route to isomer characterization. Here, we extend the capability to heavier species: dibromoanilines (DBAs, ∼250 Da) and tribromoanilines (TBAs, ∼330 Da). The 13C shifts for DBAs and TBAs vary across isomers, some changing sign. While 81Br shifts are less specific, the 2-D 13C/81Br shifts unequivocally differentiate all isomers. The trends for DBAs track those for dichloroanilines, with the 13C shift order preserved for most isomers. The peak broadening due to merged isotopomers is also isomer-specific. The absolute shifts for TBAs are smaller than those for lighter haloanilines, but differentiate isomers as well because of compressed uncertainties. These results showcase the feasibility of broadly distinguishing isomers in the more topical ∼200–300 Da range using the isotopic shifts in IMS spectra.
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