Tandem mass spectrometry and hydrogen/deuterium exchange studies of protonated species of 1,1'-bis(diphenylphosphino)-ferrocene oxidative impurity generated during a Heck reaction.

Research paper by Lianming L Wu, Heriberto H Hernandez-Soto, David Q DQ Liu, Frederick G FG Vogt, Stacy A SA O'Neill-Slawecki, Qiaogong Q Su

Indexed on: 11 Jan '08Published on: 11 Jan '08Published in: Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry


Oxidation of 1,1'-bis(diphenylphosphino)-ferrocene (DPPF) was found to occur when it served as the ligand for Pd(II)(CH3COO)2 in a Heck reaction. This oxidative impurity of DPPF, referred to as DPPF(O), was identified by high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS/MS) and exact mass measurements. Protonated DPPF(O) exhibited unique fragmentation pathways in the gas phase. Hydrogen/deuterium (H/D) exchange experiments provided important insights into the dissociation mechanisms of protonated DPPF(O), suggesting the existence of isomeric structures of the product ions by retaining or losing a proton (or deuteron) upon collision-induced dissociation (CID). The specific fate of the proton (or deuteron) upon CID is postulated to be dependent on the distance between the exchangeable proton (or deuteron) and the sites of bond cleavage. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations at the B3LYP/LANL2DZ level of theory showed that oxygen in DPPF(O) plays a pivotal role in invoking pi-cation interactions between the p-type lone pair electrons (n pi) in oxygen and the anti-bonding orbital of Fe(II), accounting for the major fragmentation pathways of protonated DPPF(O). Facile formation of organometallic distonic ions in dissociation of protonated DPPF(O), and especially of protonated DPPF, could be useful for further exploration of their chemical properties by gas-phase ion/molecule reactions.