Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization was performed on an external ion source Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer equipped with a 7-T superconducting magnet to analyze end groups of synthetic polymers in the mass range from 500 to 5000 u. Native, perdeutero methylated, propylated, and acetylated polyethylene glycol and polyvinyl pyrrolidone with unknown end-group elemental composition were investigated in the mass range up to 5000 u by using a 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid matrix. A small electrospray setup was used for the deposition of the samples. Two methods to process data were evaluated for the determination of end groups from the measured masses of the component molecules in the molecular weight ranges: a regression method and an averaging method. The averaging method is demonstrated to allow end-group mass determinations with an accuracy within 3 mu for the molecular weight range from 500 to 1400 and within 20 mu for the molecular weight range from 3400 to 5000. This is sufficient to identify the elemental composition of end groups in unknown polymer samples.

Additional Metadata
Journal J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom.
Citation
van Rooij, G.J, Duursma, M.C, Heeren, R.M.A, Boon, J.J, & de Koster, C.G. (1996). High resolution end group determination of low molecular weight polymers by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization on an external ion source Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer. J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom., 7, 449–457.