Liquid injection field desorption/ionization of reactive transition metal complexes


Liquid injection field desorption/ionization (LIFDI) has been applied to identify transition metal complexes that are highly reactive to air and moisture by mass spectrometry. The complexes of nickel and rhodium were supplied as dilute solutions (∼0.2 mg ml−1) in toluene, tetrahydrofuran or acetonitrile, and were applied onto the field desorption emitter inside the vacuum of the ion source under inert conditions by means of the injection capillary unique to the LIFDI set-up. LIFDI mass spectrometry on a double-focusing magnetic sector instrument provided spectra exhibiting intense molecular ion peaks for the species investigated or signals that could easily be related to the target compound by assuming neutral loss of the weakest-bound ligand. Eventually, byproducts of the synthesis or other components resulting from incomplete reactions or some degree of decomposition were also detected.

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Generous support of this work by the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie, by BASF AG and by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB 623) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Jürgen H. Gross.

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Dedicated to Prof. J. J. Veith on the occasion of his 65th birthday.

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Gross, J.H., Nieth, N., Linden, H.B. et al. Liquid injection field desorption/ionization of reactive transition metal complexes. Anal Bioanal Chem 386, 52–58 (2006).

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  • Field desorption
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Desorption/ionization
  • Transition metal complexes
  • Ligands