Electrospray ionization ion mobility spectrometry of carboxylate anions: Ion mobilities and a mass-mobility correlation

Hugh I. Kim, Paul V. Johnson, Luther W. Beegle, J. L. Beauchamp, Isik Kanik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


A number of carboxylate anions spanning a mass range of 87-253 amu (pyruvate, oxalate, malonate, maleate, succinate, malate, tartarate, glutarate, adipate, phthalate, citrate, gluconate, 1,2,4-benzenetricarboxylate, and 1,2,4,5-benzenetetracarboxylate) were investigated using electrospray ionization ion mobility spectrometry. Measured ion mobilities demonstrated a high correlation between mass and mobility in both N 2 and CO 2 drift gases. Such a strong mass-mobility correlation among structurally dissimilar ions suggests that the carboxylate functional group that these ions have in common is the source of the correlation. Computational analysis was performed to determine the most stable conformation of the studied carboxylate anions in the gas phase under the current experimental conditions. This analysis indicated that the most stable conformations for multicarboxylate anions included intramolecular hydrogen-bonded ring structures formed between the carboxylate group and the neutral carboxyl group. The carboxylate anions that form ring confirmations generally show higher ion mobility values than those that form extended conformations. This is the first observation of intramolecular hydrogen-bonded ring conformation of carboxylate anions in the gas phase at atmospheric pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7888-7895
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Sept 8
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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