Liquid Chromatography Separation and Mass Spectrometry Detection of Silver-Lipoate Ag29(LA)12 Nanoclusters: Evidence of Isomerism in the Solution Phase

David M. Black, Geronimo Robles, Priscilla Lopez, Stephan B.H. Bach, Marcos Alvarez, Robert L. Whetten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evidence for the existence of condensed-phase isomers of silver-lipoate clusters, Ag29(LA)12, where LA = (R)-α lipoic acid, was obtained by reversed-phase ion-pair liquid chromatography with in-line UV-vis and electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS detection. All components of a raw mixture were separated according to surface chemistry and increasing size via reversed-phase gradient HPLC methods and identified by their corresponding m/z ratio by ESI in the negative ionization mode. Aqueous and methanol mobile-phase mixtures, each containing 400 mM hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP)-15 mM triethylamine (TEA), were employed to facilitate the interaction between the clusters and stationary phase via formation of ion-pairs. TEA-HFIP (triethylammonium-hexafluoroisopropoxide) had been shown to provide superior chromatographic peak shape and mass spectral signal compared with alternative modifiers such as TEAA (triethylammonium-acetate) for analysis of oligonucleotide samples. Liquid chromatographic separation prior to mass spectrometry detection facilitated sample analysis by production of simplified mass spectra for each eluting cluster species and provided insight into the existence of at least two major solution-phase isomers of Ag29(LA)12. UV-vis detection in-line with ESI analysis provided independent confirmation of the existence of the isomers and their similar electronic structure as judged from their identical optical spectra in the 300-500 nm range. [Diastereomerism provides a possible interpretation for the near-equal abundance of the two forms, based on a structurally defined nonaqueous homologue.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2010-2017
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Volume90
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 6 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry

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