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Title: Synthetic polymer analysis using matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry
Author: Mowat, Ian A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1996
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The aim of the work described in this thesis was to assess 'Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization' (MALDI) Time-of-Flight mass spectrometry as a possible technique for the analysis of synthetic polymers. A compact home-built time-of-flight mass spectrometer of cylindrically symmetrical geometry was used to carry out all the mass spectrometry detailed described in this thesis. A survey of the literature describing the development of matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization spectrometry and also the previous analysis of polymers by laser mass spectrometry was carried out. Experiments comparing the performance of the apparatus with published data on peptides and proteins were carried out, followed by experiments to assess the possibility of analyzing synthetic polymers. Initially polar polymers were investigated, since they could be anlayzed using sample preparations very similar to those developed for peptide and protein analysis. Later investigations were carried out on non-polar polymers such as polystyrene. The attachment of a range of transition metals to a low mass polystyrene was investigated using laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, without the use of matrices to increase the ion yield. Systematic investigations into the effects of sample spot composition, i.e. the amounts of matrix, polymer and salt present, were carried out, and used to suggest possible models for the processes leading to the generations of large gas phase ions. The effects of sample spot composition on the size and shape of the polymer molecular weight distributions obtained was also investigated. Liquid polymers such as polysiloxanes and perfluorinated polyethers were investigated using laser desorption/ionization and matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization. Carbon cluster generation from such polymers was investigated, and fullerene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon analysis was also briefly studied. Novel new molecules such as aryl ester dendrimers were investigated, since they could not be successfully analyzed by other mass spectrometric techniques. Single molecular ions were obtained, helping to confirm the expected masses of these molecules. Novel new polymers such as hyperbranched aromatic polyesters were also analyzed, and molecular weight distributions were successfully obtained for a number of samples, showing the utility of MALDI for the analysis of new materials.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available