When chiral molecules form clusters in the gas phase their abundance often exhibits pronounced chiral effects. In this work we pose the question of whether and how this phenomena can be used for chiral recognition: whether by mixing a solution of a test molecule of unknown enantiomeric excess with a known homochiral probe molecule and measuring the abundance of the mixed clusters one can determine the enantiomeric excess of the test molecule. Focusing on mixed amino acid clusters, we will show that the technique is not general, but for many cases is applicable. In doing so, systematic trends governing cluster formation have to be understood, and are discussed below.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry