Title

Acetonitrile Ion Suppression in Atmospheric Pressure Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

11-1-2016

Abstract

Efforts to analyze trace levels of cyclic peroxides by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry gave evidence that acetonitrile suppressed ion formation. Further investigations extended this discovery to ketones, linear peroxides, esters, and possibly many other types of compounds, including triazole and menadione. Direct ionization suppression caused by acetonitrile was observed for multiple adduct types in both electrospray ionization and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization. The addition of only 2% acetonitrile significantly decreased the sensitivity of analyte response. Efforts to identify the mechanism were made using various nitriles. The ion suppression was reduced by substitution of an acetonitrile hydrogen with an electron-withdrawing group, but was exacerbated by electron-donating or steric groups adjacent to the nitrile. Although current theory does not explain this phenomenon, we propose that polar interactions between the various functionalities and the nitrile may be forming neutral aggregates that manifest as ionization suppression. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Publication Title

Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

Volume

27

Issue

11

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