Complexations of crown ethers with alkali metal ions have been investigated extensively by FAB mass spectrometry over the past decade, but very little attention has been paid to reactions of crown ethers with other classes of metal ions such as alkaline earth metal ions, transition metal ions and aluminum ions. Although fast atom bombardment ionization mass spectrometry has proven to be a rapid and convenient method to determine the binding interactions of crown ethers with metal ions, problems in reliabilities for quantitative measurements of” binding strength for the host-guest complexes have been described in the literature. Thus, in this paper, applications of FAB/MS for investigating the complexation of crown ethers with various classes of metal ions is discussed. Extensive fragmentations for neutral losses such as C2H4O or C2H4 molecules from the host-guest complexes could be observed. The reason is attributed to the energetic bombardment processes of FAB occuring in the formation of these complexes. Complexes of cyclen with metal ions also show neutral losses of C2H4NH molecules leading to fragment ions. Transition metal ions usually form (Crown + MCl)+ type of ions, alkaline earth metal ions can form both (Crown + MCl)+ and (Crown + MOH)+ type of ions. But for aluminum ions, only (Crown + Al(OH)2)+ type of ions could he observed.
Journal of the Chinese Chemical Society 45(5), pp.689-699