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  1. Decavanadate (V 10 O 28 6− or V10) is a paradigmatic member of the polyoxidometalate (POM) family, which has been attracting much attention within both materials/inorganic and biomedical communities due to its unique structural and electrochemical properties. In this work we explored the utility of high-resolution electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectrometry (MS) and ion exclusion chromatography LC/MS for structural analysis of V10 species in aqueous solutions. While ESI generates abundant molecular ions representing the intact V10 species, their isotopic distributions show significant deviations from the theoretical ones. A combination of high-resolution MS measurements and hydrogen/deuterium exchange allows these deviations to be investigated and interpreted as a result of partial reduction of V10. While the redox processes are known to occur in the ESI interface and influence the oxidation state of redox-active analytes, the LC/MS measurements using ion exclusion chromatography provide unequivocal evidence that the mixed-valence V10 species exist in solution, as extracted ion chromatograms representing V10 molecular ions at different oxidation states exhibit distinct elution profiles. The spontaneous reduction of V10 in solution is seen even in the presence of hydrogen peroxide and has not been previously observed. The susceptibility to reduction of V10 is likely to be shared bymore »other redox active POMs. In addition to the molecular V10 ions, a high-abundance ionic signal for a V 10 O 26 2− anion was displayed in the negative-ion ESI mass spectra. None of the V 10 O 26 cations were detected in ESI MS, and only a low-abundance signal was observed for V 10 O 26 anions with a single negative charge, indicating that the presence of abundant V 10 O 26 2− anions in ESI MS reflects gas-phase instability of V 10 O 28 anions carrying two charges. The gas-phase origin of the V 10 O 26 2− anion was confirmed in tandem MS measurements, where mild collisional activation was applied to V10 molecular ions with an even number of hydrogen atoms (H 4 V 10 O 28 2− ), resulting in a facile loss of H 2 O molecules and giving rise to V 10 O 26 2− as the lowest-mass fragment ion. Water loss was also observed for V 10 O 28 anions carrying an odd number of hydrogen atoms ( e.g. , H 5 V 10 O 28 − ), followed by a less efficient and incomplete removal of an OH˙ radical, giving rise to both HV 10 O 26 − and V 10 O 25 − fragment ions. Importantly, at least one hydrogen atom was required for ion fragmentation in the gas phase, as no further dissociation was observed for any hydrogen-free V10 ionic species. The presented workflow allows a distinction to be readily made between the spectral features revealing the presence of non-canonical POM species in the bulk solution from those that arise due to physical and chemical processes occurring in the ESI interface and/or the gas phase.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 29, 2023