The interactions of macrocyclic polyethers with alkali and alkaline earth cations have been well studied and much about their chemistry is now well understood. Less well examined or comprehended are hydrogen bond interactions. A combination of ion selective electrode binding constant determination techniques and fast atom bombardment mass spectrometry are brought to bear on this problem. It is found that all-oxygen crown ethers and their derivatives exhibit quite different complexation behaviour with ammonium salts than do their various azacrown counterparts.
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