Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

M. Samy El-Shall


The role of the solvent in ionic and ion-molecule interactions is of fundamental importance in kinetics and thermodynamics of solution chemistry. However, the study of the ionic interactions in the presence of a large number of solvent molecules is very challenging. Therefore, the gas-phase is the appropriate medium to study such reactions on a molecular level where the ion-solvent interaction can be examined by studying ions surrounded with a cluster of solvent molecules in the complete absence of the any interference caused by the bulk of the solvent. In nature, organic ions can form hydrogen bonds with solvents. An insight into basic molecular interactions is required to be extracted from the gas phase energies and structures of the solvated organic ions. Therefore, the stepwise hydration experiments of benzene.+, C3H3+, acetylene.+, pyridine.+, 2-fluoropyridine.+, phenyl acetylene.+ and acetylene dimer.+ have been investigated using quadrupole mass-selected ion mobility mass spectrometer. Thus, these systems can be considered as prototypical models for understanding the molecular aspects leading to hydrophobic hydration in the condensed phase. Two routes of the investigation of ion-molecule interactions are considered in this dissertation. The first route is concerned with injecting the same ion into various solvents to study the nature and strength of the ion-solvent interactions when protonated pyrimidine cation interacts with water, methanol and acetonitrile molecules. Association and proton transfer reactions were observed. On the other hand, the second route involves the injection of various ions into the same solvent where the interactions of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) molecules with different ions. Benzene, phenyl acetylene, pyridine, protonated pyridine, and pyrimidine ions were investigated. All the investigated ions exhibited hydrogen bonding with the hydrogen cyanide molecules with variable strength depending on the charge distribution on the specified ion as well as the nature of interaction. Additionally, ion mobility structural methods were utilized to investigate structures of binary clusters formed by supersonic expansion of mixed vapors. The structures can be identified by comparing the experimentally measured collision cross section values with those predicted from DFT computations.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012

Included in

Chemistry Commons