Sensitivity and selectivity of switchable reagent ion soft chemical ionization mass spectrometry for the detection of picric acid

Bishu Agarwal, Ramón González-Méndez, Matteo Lanza, Philipp Sulzer, Tilmann D. Märk, Neil Thomas, Chris A. Mayhew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have investigated the reactions of NO+, H3O+, O2 +, and Kr+ with picric acid (2,4,6 trinitrophenol, C6H3N3O7, PiA) using a time-of-flight mass spectrometer with a switchable reagent ion source. NO+ forms a simple adduct ion PiA·NO+, while H3O+ reacts with PiA via nondissociative proton transfer to form PiAH+. In contrast, both O2 + and Kr+ react with PiA by nondissociative charge transfer to produce PiA+. For Kr+, we also observe dissociation of PiA, producing NO2 + with a branching percentage of approximately 40%. For the reagent ions H3O+ and O2 + (and operating the drift tube with normal laboratory air), we find that the intensities of the PiAH+ and PiA+ ions both exhibit a peak at a given drift-tube voltage (which is humidity dependent). This unusual behavior implies a peak in the detection sensitivity of PiA as a function of the drift-tube voltage (and hence E/N). Aided by electronic-structure calculations and our previous studies of trinitrotoluene and trinitrobenzene, we provide a possible explanation for the observed peak in the detection sensitivity of PiA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8229-8236
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Volume118
Issue number37
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Medicine(all)

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