, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 285-293
Date: 01 Feb 2007

Negative ion mode electrospray ionization mass spectrometry study of ammonium-counter ion clusters


Electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) was used to examine clusters of protonated amine salt solutions with chloride counter ions in the negative ion mode. These ions have the general formula [(RNH3)xClx+1]. Primary amines generate a wide cluster distribution with clusters up to 14 mer for methylamine hydrochloride clusters. Secondary and quaternary amines only generate the monomer ion under identical conditions. Collision induced dissociation (CID) of the cluster ions generates cluster ions of lower m/z with the next lower cluster being the most abundant. The product ions from MeNH3Cl 2 , Me2NH2Cl 2 and (MeNH3)2Cl 3 have low threshold appearance energies of 1. 24 to 2. 22 eV center-of-mass frame. Secondary amine monomer ions have lower threshold CID energies than primary amine monomer ions. The amine threshold CID energy decreases as the carbon chain length increases. As an electrospray solvent, isopropyl alcohol (IPA) promotes the formation of counter ions and clustering.