Collision-induced dissociation (CID) and electron-induced dissociation (EID) have been investigated for a selection of small, singly charged organic molecules of pharmaceutical interest. Comparison of these techniques has shown that EID carried out on an FTICR MS and CID performed on a linear ion trap MS produce complementary data. In a study of 33 molecule-cations, EID generated over 300 product ions compared to 190 product ions by CID with an average of only 3 product ions per precursor ion common to both tandem MS techniques. Even multiple stages of CID failed to generate many of the product ions observed following EID. The charge carrying species is also shown to have a very significant effect on the degree of fragmentation and types of product ion resulting from EID. Protonated species behave much like the ammonium adduct with suggestion of a hydrogen atom from the charge carrying species strongly affecting the fragmentation mechanism. Sodium and potassium are retained by nearly every product ion formed from [M + Na] + or [M + K] + and provide information to complement the EID of [M + H] + or [M + NH 4] +. In summary, EID is proven to be a fitting partner to CID in the structural elucidation of small singly charged ions and by studying EID of a molecule-ion holding different charge carrying species, an even greater depth of detail can be obtained for functional groups commonly used in synthetic chemistry.
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