Double-helical [M2L2]n+, triple-helical [M2L3]n+, and toroidal [M3L3]n+ (M = Cu, Co, Fe, Ni, La, Eu, Gd, Tb, or Lu) supramolecular complexes have been fully characterized by ion spray mass spectrometry (IS-MS). The IS-MS spectra from pure acetonitrile solutions reflect the nature of the cations present in solution with conservation of the charge state and allow an efficient qualitative speciation of the compounds. The mass spectrometry results can be correlated with other powerful techniques (nuclear magnetic resonance and electronic spectroscopy) for the characterization of supramolecular complexes in solution, Structural information is obtained by collision-induced dissociation, which strongly depends on the metal ions used in the supramolecular complexes and on the various connectivities and topologies of the ligands. When the ligand contains 3,5dimethoxybenzyl groups bound to the benzimidazole rings, the partial fragmentation of the complexes is associated with a decrease of the total charge of the complexes and the appearance of the characteristic fragment at m/z 151 that corresponds to the 3,5-dimethoxybenzyl cation. A detailed analysis of the fragmentation pathways of these supramolecular complexes suggests that the metal-nitrogen coordination bonds are very strong in the gas phase. © 1994 American Society for Mass Spectrometry.
Hopfgartner, G., Piguet, C., & Henion, J. D. (1994). Ion spray-tandem mass spectrometry of supramolecular coordination complexes. Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 5(8), 748–756. https://doi.org/10.1016/1044-0305(94)80007-3