Hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) experiments can be used to examine the gas-phase structure of hydrogen-bonded dimeric resorcinarene and pyrogallarene capsules. Already the qualitative comparison of the isotope exchange rates of different host–guest complexes with Cs+, tetramethyl ammonium (TMA+) and tetraethyl ammonium (TEA+) as the guest cations provides insight into the H/D-exchange mechanisms and with it, into the capsules' gas-phase ion structures. The smaller Cs+cations bind inside dimeric capsules with an intact seam of hydrogen bonds between the two monomers. Larger cations such as TEA+ lead to capsules with partially disrupted seams of hydrogen bonds. A fast isotope exchange is only observed, when the H-bonding seam between the two monomers is intact. In these cases, the H/D-exchange proceeds by a concerted mechanism reminiscent of the Grotthuss mechanism of proton transfer through water. Since it can only proceed along the seam, we refer to this exchange mechanism as a one dimensional Grotthuss mechanism.
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2011|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|