Characterization of polyphosphoesters by fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry
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FT-ICR mass spectrometry, together with collision-induced dissociation and electron capture dissociation, has been used to characterize the polyphosphoester poly[1,4-bis(hydroxyethyl)terephthalate-alt-ethyloxyphosphate] and its degradation products. Three degradation pathways were elucidated: hydrolysis of the phosphate-[1,4-bis(hydroxyethyl)terephthalate] bonds; hydrolysis of the phosphate-ethoxy bonds; and hydrolysis of the ethyl-terephthalate bonds. The dominant degradation reactions were those that involved the phosphate groups. This work constitutes the first application of mass spectrometry to the characterization of polyphosphoesters and demonstrates the suitability of high mass accuracy FT-ICR mass spectrometry, with CID and ECD, for the structural analysis of polyphosphoesters and their degradation products.