Cluster chemical ionization and deuterium exchange mass spectrometry in supersonic molecular beams

Shai Dagan, Aviv Amirav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cluster-based chemical ionization method has been developed that produces protonated molecular ions from molecules introduced through a supersonic molecular beam interface. Mixed clusters of the analyte and a clustering agent (water or methanol) are produced in the expansion region of the beam, and are subsequently ionized by 'fly through' electron impact (EI) ionization, which results in a mass spectrum that is a combination of protonated molecular ion peaks together with the conventional EI fragmentation pattern. The technique is presented and discussed as a tool complementary to electron impact ionization in supersonic molecular beams. Surface-induced dissociation on a rhenium oxide surface is also applied to simplify the mass spectra of clusters and reveal the analyte spectrum. The high gas flow rates involved with the supersonic molecular beam interface that enable the easy introduction of the clustering agents also have been used to introduce deuterating agents. An easy-to-use, fast, and routine on- line deuterium exchange method was developed to exchange active hydrogens (NH, OH). This method, combined with electron impact ionization, is demonstrated and discussed in terms of the unique information available through the EI fragmentation patterns, its ability to help in isomer identification, and possible applications with fast gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in supersonic molecular beams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)550-558
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996


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