Gas-phase synthesis and structure of monomeric ZnOH: A model species for metalloenzymes and catalytic surfaces

Lindsay N. Zack, Ming Sun, Matthew P. Bucchino, Dennis J. Clouthier, Lucy M Ziurys

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12 Scopus citations


Monomeric ZnOH has been studied for the first time using millimeter and microwave gas-phase spectroscopy. ZnOH is important in surface processes and at the active site of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase. In the millimeter-wave direct-absorption experiments, ZnOH was synthesized by reacting zinc vapor, produced in a Broida-type oven, with water. In the Fourier-transform microwave measurements, ZnOH was produced in a supersonic jet expansion of CH 3OH and zinc vapor, created by laser ablation. Multiple rotational transitions of six ZnOH isotopologues in their X 2A′ ground states were measured over the frequency range of 22-482 GHz, and splittings due to fine and hyperfine structure were resolved. An asymmetric top pattern was observed in the spectra, showing that ZnOH is bent, indicative of covalent bonding. From these data, spectroscopic constants and an accurate structure were determined. The Zn-O bond length was found to be similar to that in carbonic anhydrase and other model enzyme systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1542-1550
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 16 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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