Purdue University Graduate School
Xin Ma Dissertation 5.pdf (8.4 MB)

Gas-phase Reactivity Studies of Organic Polyradicals, and Studies of C-H Bond Activation of Hydrocarbons by Ion-molecule Reactions with closo-[B12Br11]- Ions Using Mass Spectrometry

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posted on 2020-12-16, 14:26 authored by Xin MaXin Ma
Mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful and versatile analytical tool, especially for identification and analysis of complex mixtures. Coupling to high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or gas chromatography (GC) provides additional dimension for mixture analysis. MS manipulates ionized analytes and separates them based on their mass-to-charge (m/z) ratios. MS is capable of providing molecular weight (MW) information by generating pseudo-molecular ions of the analytes. Detailed elemental compositions can be also obtained if high resolution MS is used. MS can also provide extensive structural information of the analyte ions. One of the most commonly used technique is tandem mass spectrometry (MSn). Ions of interest are isolated and subject to sequential reactions (reactions with other molecules or dissociation reactions) to generate product ions that can provide structural information. MS is also a powerful tool for generating and studying highly reactive reaction intermediates, such as organic polyradicals.

The research described in this dissertation mainly focuses on the generation and gas-phase reactivity studies of different organic biradicals. Their reactions with various organic reagents are studied, and the reactivity-controlling factors are discussed. For example, the reactivity of several substituted pyridine-based biradical cations with 2,6-topology are discussed (all with singlet ground states), and their special reactivity from their excited triplet states are illustrated. Besides, several quinoline-based biradicals and cyano-substituted pyridine-based para-benzyne cations are also discussed. Some of the radicals (or ions) described in this dissertation are generated for the first time, i.e. the quinoline-based oxenium cations. Their structural characterization and gas-phase reactivity toward some organic molecules are discussed in the dissertation. Further, an electrophilic anion, closo-[B12X11]- (X = Cl, Br) and its application in the activation of C-H and C-C bonds in hydrocarbon molecules are described in the dissertation.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Chemistry

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Hilkka I. Kenttamaa

Additional Committee Member 2

Scott A. McLuckey

Additional Committee Member 3

Mingji Dai

Additional Committee Member 4

Jianguo Mei