Characterisation of poly(alkyl methacrylate)s by means of electrospray ionisation-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS)

Anthony T. Jackson, Susan E. Slade, James Scrivens

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    39 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Electrospray ionisation-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-MS/MS) has been employed for the characterisation of two poly(alkyl methacrylate) polymers, namely poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and poly(n-butyl methacrylate) (PBMA). Collision-induced dissociation (CID) experiments were performed in a quadrupole orthogonal time-of-flight (ToF) tandem mass spectrometer fitted with a nanospray source. Tandem mass spectra from singly, doubly and triply charged precursor ions (with alkali metals used for cationisation of the oligomers) are shown and the data are compared to those previously generated by means of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation-collision-induced dissociation (MALDI-CID). These data indicate that cations with greater ionic radii may yield the most useful structural information as the mass-to-charge ratio of the precursor ion increases, whereas lithium or sodium ions are proposed to be ideal for obtaining spectra from lower molecular weight oligomers. Fragment ions at low mass-to-charge ratios dominate the spectra. Two series of peaks may be used to calculate the masses of the initiating and terminating end groups of the polymer. Ion peaks of greater mass-to-charge ratios form series that may be used to infer sequence information from the polymers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)265-277
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry
    Volume238
    Issue number3 SPEC. ISS.
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2004

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