Gas-phase basicities of polyfunctional molecules. Part 1: Theory and methods


  • Guy Bouchoux

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratoire des Mécanismes Réactionnels, Département de Chimie, Ecole Polytechnique, 91120 Palaiseau, France
    • Laboratoire des Mécanismes Réactionnels, UMR CNRS 7651, Ecole Polytechnique, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France.
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The experimental and theoretical methods of determination of gas-phase basicities, proton affinities and protonation entropies are presented in a tutorial form. Particularities and limitations of these methods when applied to polyfunctional molecules are emphasized. Structural effects during the protonation process in the gas-phase and their consequences on the corresponding thermochemistry are reviewed and classified. The role of the nature of the basic site (protonation on non-bonded electron pairs or on π-electron systems) and of substituent effects (electrostatic and resonance) are first examined. Then, linear correlations observed between gas-phase basicities and ionization energies or substituent constants are recalled. Hydrogen bonding plays a special part in proton transfer reactions and in the protonation characteristics of polyfunctional molecules. A survey of the main properties of intermolecular and intramolecular hydrogen bonding in both neutral and protonated species is proposed. Consequences on the protonation thermochemistry, particularly of polyfunctional molecules are discussed. Finally, chemical reactions which may potentially occur inside protonated clusters during the measurement of gas-phase basicities or inside a protonated polyfunctional molecule is examined. Examples of bond dissociations with hydride or alkyl migrations, proton transport catalysis, tautomerization, cyclization, ring opening and nucleophilic substitution are presented to illustrate the potentially complex chemistry that may accompany the protonation of polyfunctional molecules. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Mass Spec Rev 26:775–835, 2007