Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization sample preparation optimization for structural characterization of poly(styrene-co-pentafluorostyrene) copolymers

by Tisdale, Evgenia; Kennedy, Devin; Wilkins, Charles L.

The influence of the sample preparation parameters (the choice of the matrix, matrix: analyte ratio, salt: analyte ratio) was investigated and optimal conditions were established for the MALDI time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis of the poly(styrene-co-pentafluorostyrene) copolymers. These were synthesized by atom transfer radical polymerization. Use of 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid as matrix resulted in spectra with consistently high ion yields for all matrix: analyte: salt ratios tested. The optimized MALDI procedure was successfully applied to the characterization of three copolymers obtained by varying the conditions of polymerization reaction. It was possible to establish the nature of the end groups, calculate molecular weight distributions, and determine the individual length distributions for styrene and pentafluorostyrene monomers, contained in the resulting copolymers. Based on the data obtained, it was concluded that individual styrene chain length distributions are more sensitive to the change in the composition of the catalyst (the addition of small amount of CuBr2) than is the pentafluorostyrene component distribution. (C) 2013 Elsevier B. V. All rights reserved.

Analytica Chimica Acta
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1873-4324; 0003-2670