The conformation and electronic structure of dibenzo-24-crown-8 (DB24C8) complexes with K+ ion were examined by ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS), ultraviolet (UV) photodissociation (UVPD) spectroscopy in the gas phase, and fluorescence spectroscopy in solution. Three structural isomers of DB24C8 (SymDB24C8, Asym1DB24C8, and Asym2DB24C8) in which the relative positions of the two benzene rings were different from each other were investigated. The IM-MS results at 86 K revealed a clear separation of two sets of conformers for the K+(SymDB24C8) and K+(Asym1DB24C8) complexes whereas the K+(Asym2DB24C8) complex revealed only one set. The two sets of conformers were attributed to the open and closed forms in which the benzene-benzene distances in the complexes were long (>6 Å) and short (<6 Å), respectively. IM-MS at 300 K could not separate the two conformer sets of the K+(SymDB24C8) complex because the interconversion between the open and closed conformations occurred at 300 K and not at 86 K. The crown cavity of DB24C8 was wrapped around the K+ ion in the complex, although the IM-MS results availed direct evidence of rapid cavity deformation and the reconstruction of stable conformers at 300 K. The UVPD spectra of the K+(SymDB24C8) and K+(Asym1DB24C8) complexes at ∼10 K displayed broad features that were accompanied by a few sharp vibronic bands, which were attributable to the coexistence of multiple conformers. The fluorescence spectra obtained in a methanol solution suggested that the intramolecular excimer was formed only in K+(SymDB24C8) among the three complexes because only SymDB24C8 could possibly assume a parallel configuration between the two benzene rings upon K+ encapsulation. The encapsulation methods for K+ ion (the "wraparound"arrangement) are similar in the three structural isomers of DB24C8, although the difference in the relative positions of the two benzene rings affected the overall cross-section. This study demonstrated that temperature-controlled IM-MS coupled with the introduction of appropriate bulky groups, such as aromatic rings to host molecules, could reveal the dynamic aspects of encapsulation in host-guest systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry