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Laser Desorption Ionization and MALDI Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry for Low Molecular Mass Polyethylene Analysis

Published

Author(s)

R Chen, T Yalcin, William E. Wallace, Charles M. Guttman, L Li

Abstract

Polyethylene's inert nature and difficulty to dissolve in conventional solvents at room temperature present special problems for sample preparation and ionization in mass spectrometric analysis. We present a study of ionization behavior of several polyethylene samples with molecular masses up to 4000 Da in laser descorption ionization (LDI) time-of-flight mass spectrometers equipped with a 337-nm laser beam. We demonstrate unequivocally that silver or copper ion attachment to saturated polyethylene can occur in the gas phase during the UV LDI process. In LDI spectra of polyethylene with molecular masses above 1000 Da, low mass ions corresponding to metal alkene structures are observed in addition to the principal distribution. By interrogating a well-characterized polyethylene sample and a long chain alkane, C94H190, these low mass ions are determined to be the fragmentation products of the intact metal-polyethylene adduct ions. It is further illustrated that fragmentation can be reduced by adding matrix molecules to the sample preparation.
Citation
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Volume
12
Issue
No. 11

Keywords

ions, MALDI, mass spectrometry, polethylene, polystyrene

Citation

Chen, R. , Yalcin, T. , Wallace, W. , Guttman, C. and Li, L. (2001), Laser Desorption Ionization and MALDI Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry for Low Molecular Mass Polyethylene Analysis, Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=851927 (Accessed June 25, 2024)

Issues

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Created October 31, 2001, Updated October 12, 2021