Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

, Volume 16, Issue 12, pp 1941–1956

Simple b ions have cyclic oxazolone structures. A neutralization-reionization mass spectrometric and computational study of oxazolone radicals


DOI: 10.1016/j.jasms.2005.07.023

Cite this article as:
Chen, X. & Turecček, F. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom (2005) 16: 1941. doi:10.1016/j.jasms.2005.07.023


The 2-methyloxazol-5-on-2-yl radical (3) and its deuterium labeled analogs were generated in the gas-phase by femtosecond electron-transfer and studied by neutralization-reionization mass spectrometry and quantum chemical calculations. Radical 3 undergoes fast dissociation by ring opening and elimination of CO and CH3CO. Loss of hydrogen is less abundant and involves hydrogen atoms from both the ring and side-chain positions. The experimental results are corroborated by the analysis of the potential energy surface of the ground electronic state in 3 using density functional, perturbational, and coupled-cluster theories up to CCSD(T) and extrapolated to the 6-311 ++ G(3df,2p) basis set. RRKM calculations of radical dissociations gave branching ratios for loss of CO and H that were kCO/kH > 10 over an 80–300 kJ mol−1 range of internal energies. The driving force for the dissociations of 3 is provided by large Franck-Condon effects on vertical neutralization and possibly from involvement of excited electronic states. Calculations also provided the adiabatic ionization energy of 3, IEadiab = 5.48 eV and vertical recombination energy of cation 3+, REvert = 4.70 eV. The present results strongly indicate that oxazolone structures can explain fragmentations of b-type peptide ions upon electron capture, contrary to previous speculations.

Supplementary material

13361_2011_161201941_MOESM1_ESM.doc (140 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 144 KB.

Copyright information

© American Society for Mass Spectrometry 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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