Detecting Reaction Intermediates in Liquids on the Millisecond Time Scale Using Desorption Electrospray Ionization


  • We are indebted to Prof. Robert Waymouth (Stanford University) for insightful comments and help in determining reasonable chemical structures, Dr. Antonio De Crisci (Stanford University) for suggesting the ruthenium hydrogen-transfer catalyst, and Prof. R. Graham Cooks (Purdue University) for encouraging the study of desorption electrospray ionization reactions. Financial support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA 9550-10-1-0235) is gratefully acknowledged.


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Capturing transient species: The bombardment of a surface-bound RuII complex with charged droplets containing a ligand allows the detection of reaction intermediates (see figure). The reaction investigated is used to synthesize RuII catalysts containing amino alcohol ligands, which facilitate the asymmetric transfer hydrogenation of ketones and imines.