Joining Microfluidics with Infrared Photodissociation: Online Monitoring of Isomeric Flow-Reaction Intermediates

Anal Chem. 2019 Mar 5;91(5):3199-3203. doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.8b05532. Epub 2019 Jan 16.


A cryogenic ion trap vibrational spectrometer is combined with a microfluidic chip reactor in a proof-of-principle experiment on the Hantzsch cyclization reaction forming 2-amino-4-phenyl thiazole from phenacyl bromide and thiourea. First, the composition of the reaction solution is characterized using electrospray-ionization mass spectrometry combined with two-color infrared photodissociation (IRPD) spectroscopy. The latter yields isomer-specific vibrational spectra of the reaction intermediates and products. A comparison to results from electronic structure calculations then allows for an unambiguous structural assignment and molecular-level insights into the reaction mechanism. Subsequently, we demonstrate that isomeric and isobaric ions can be selectively monitored online with low process time, i.e., using a single IRPD wavelength per isomer, as the chip reaction parameters are varied.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't