Herein, the compositions and geometrical structures of niobium oxide cluster ions were studied and compared with those of the lighter Group 5 counterpart vanadium oxide cluster ions by ion-mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS). As a result of collision-induced dissociation in IM-MS, the compositions were found to be dependent on an odd and even number of niobium atoms, whereby the ions with (NbO2)(Nb2O5)(m-1)/2+ and (NbO3)(Nb2O5)(m-1)/2- were identified as stable compositions for an odd number of Nb atoms, whereas (Nb2O5)m/2± and (Nb2O6)(Nb2O5)(m-2)/2- were identified as stable compositions for an even number of Nb atom clusters. Furthermore, structural transitions were observed between m = 8 and 9 for cluster cations and m = 7 and 8 for cluster anions for experimental collision cross-sections (CCSs), which were determined from the arrival times in the ion-mobility measurements. Quantum chemical calculations were conducted on several structural candidates of these compositions for m = 2-12. For cluster cations with the sizes between m = 2 and 8 and cluster anions with m = 2-7, the structures were found to be similar to those of vanadium oxide cluster ions upon comparing the experimental CCSs with the theoretical CCSs of optimized structures. As compared to the vanadium oxide cluster ions, niobium oxide cluster cations with m ≥ 9 and anions with m ≥ 8 consisted of structures where some niobium atoms had more than five oxygen-atom coordination; thus, compact structures could be achieved in the case of niobium oxide cluster ions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry