• cations;
  • ion solvation;
  • IR spectroscopy;
  • mass spectrometry;
  • solvent effects


Infrared laser action spectroscopy in a Fourier-transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer is used in conjunction with ab initio calculations to investigate doubly charged, hydrated clusters of calcium formed by electrospray ionization. Six water molecules coordinate directly to the calcium dication, whereas the seventh water molecule is incorporated into a second solvation shell. Spectral features indicate the presence of multiple structures of Ca(H2O)72+ in which outer-shell water molecules accept either one (single acceptor) or two (double acceptor) hydrogen bonds from inner-shell water molecules. Double-acceptor water molecules are predominately observed in the second solvent shells of clusters containing eight or nine water molecules. Increased hydration results in spectroscopic signatures consistent with additional second-shell water molecules, particularly the appearance of inner-shell water molecules that donate two hydrogen bonds (double donor) to the second solvent shell. This is the first reported use of infrared spectroscopy to investigate shell structure of a hydrated multiply charged cation in the gas phase and illustrates the effectiveness of this method to probe the structures of hydrated ions.