An analytical mass spectrometric method was developed for the comprehensive characterization of the poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) based additives present in water extracts of acrylic emulsions, acrylic emulsion paints and samples from paintings. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS)was used to determine the molar mass distribution (MMD), i.e., theweight average molar mass, number average molar mass and the polydispersity characteristics of the PEG compounds. Nano electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) was used to determine the end-group structures. It was possible to determine both end-groups of the PEG compounds using ESI-MS in combination with nozzle skimmer dissociation (NSD) and tandem MS (MSMS). The method development is part of a larger project of analysis of artists paints and samples from paintings reported elsewhere. The new methodology is demonstrated here with two relevant examples of a often used PEG and an acrylic medium.
Int. J. Mass Spectrom.

Hoogland, F. G, & Boon, J. J. (2009). Development of MALDI-MS and nano-ESI-MS methodology for the full identification of poly(ethylene glycol) additives in artists acrylic paints. Int. J. Mass Spectrom., 284, 66–71. doi:10.1016/j.ijms.2009.03.001