n Journal of Emerging Trends in Engineering and Applied Sciences - Ion/molecule reactions of polyethylene glycols and polyethylene glycol dialkyl ethers with fourier transformation/ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT/ICRMS)

Volume 4, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2141-7016
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Ion molecule reactions usually occur between reagent ion and neutral sample molecules under chemical ionization (CI) and ion cyclotron (ICR) conditions. The set of Brønsted acids generated in methane CI plasma are all powerful protic acids and are present in the CI source in far greater concentrations than the protonated PEG and PEGDAE ions and the many fragments of these oligomers. However, sample ion/sample molecule (SISM) reactions were observed under CI conditions with large sample size of polar compounds, and are useful in forming MH+ ions for molecular weight determination. These SISM reactions will not be noticed unless studies are made about the variation of CI spectra with sample size. The CH/CI mass spectra of polyethylene glycol and polyethylene glycol dialkyl ethers contain MH+ ions whose relative abundances are low, variable,and increase with increasing sample size across the chromatographic peaks and not with increasing value of x or n; hence, a major portion of these ions is formed by SISM reactions. The dominant fragment ion in the CH/CI mass spectra of all PEG and PEGDAE's are the ions at m/z 45 (CHO+) and m/z 59 (CHO+) respectively. Inthis paper, electronic ionization (EI), CI, and ion molecule reactions of the PEG and PEGMAE's were used to produce CHO+ and CHO+ ions in the source of an FT/ICR mass spectrometer and were used to react with PEG's and PEGDME's. Reaction profiles of these two sample ions were monitored and their reaction products and profile were also obtained. The ion molecule reaction of CHO+ ions from PEG gave spectra similar spectra to those produced by CH/CI. The reaction profile of isomeric CHO+ ions with PEGDAE's follow the same pattern like those observed for the CHO+ ions. The relative abundances of the MH+ in the CH CI mass spectra of PEG and PEGDAE oligomers increased dramatically with increasing sample size confirming the occurrence of sample ion/sample molecule reactions under normal CI conditions. The limitation of this study include the fact that collision rate constants, the reduced mass (1/μ1/2) of the colliding pair and the proton affinities of PEG and PEGDAE's are not known which might have helped to understand why SISM reactions preferably occurs in the presence of larger concentrations of reagent ions. Further studies needs to be done to access these parameters.

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