ERC Consolidator Grant IsoMS (Mass Spectrometry of Isomeric Ions, 2016-2020)
Mass spectrometry (MS) is gaining a growing importance in the field of reaction mechanism research. The main advantage of MS is its complementarity with IR, NMR and X-ray spectroscopies in terms of the detection and characterization of reactive intermediates. IR and NMR spectroscopies are used in situ and therefore sufficient concentrations of the intermediates are prerequisite for their use. While detection and characterization of stable intermediates is routine, the investigation of reactive intermediates represents a challenge, as they are inherently present at very low concentrations. An unparalleled benefit of MS is the capability to separate individual components of reaction mixtures in the gas phase. This overcomes the problem of their low concentration as well as with their high reactivities and thus short life-times. The project IsoMS aims to advance the use of mass spectrometry for the investigation of chemical reactions in the condensed phase, and to develop efficient new methods for the analysis of mixtures of isomeric ions. While the primary application is the study of reactive intermediates in organic and organometallic chemistry, the methods of IsoMS are of general, far-reaching importance and can be transferred to the analysis of biomolecules or the investigation of atmospheric and interstellar reactions.