Selective Bond Excision in Nitroimidazoles by Electron Transfer Experiments

M. Mendes, M. Probst, T. Maihom, G. García, P. Limão-Vieira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


We have performed comprehensive charge-transfer experiments yielding negative ion formation in collisions of fast neutral potassium atoms with nitroimidazole and methylated derivative molecules. The anionic pattern reveals that in the unimolecular decomposition of the precursor parent anion, single and multiple bond cleavages are attained. Selective excision of hydrogen atoms from the N1 position in 4-nitroimidazole (4NI) is completely blocked upon methylation in 1-methyl-4-nitroimidazole (1m4NI) and 1-methyl-5-nitroimidazole (1m5NI). Additionally, only 4NI and 2-nitroimidazole (2NI) are efficient in selectively producing neutral OH and NO radicals in contrast to 1m4NI and 1m5NI. These findings present a novel experimental evidence of selective chemical bond breaking by just tuning the proper collision energy in atom-molecule collision experiments. The present work contributes to the current need of pinpointing a class of charge-transfer collisions that exhibit selective reactivity of the kind demonstrated here, extending to tailored chemical control for different applications such as tumor radiation therapy through nitroimidazole-based radiosensitization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4068-4073
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective Bond Excision in Nitroimidazoles by Electron Transfer Experiments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this