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J Mass Spectrom. 2010 Jun;45(6):587-611. doi: 10.1002/jms.1743.

The identification of synthetic homopolymer end groups and verification of their transformations using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.

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Department of Chemistry, Tulane University, 6400 Freret Street, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA.


Recent advances in the resolving power of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) enable the detailed characterization of linear homopolymers, and in particular provide invaluable data for the determination of their end-group functionalities. With the growing importance of macromolecular coupling reactions in building complex polymer architectures, the ability to accurately monitor end-group transformations is becoming increasingly important for synthetic polymer chemists. This tutorial demonstrates the application of MALDI-TOF MS in determining both end-group functionalities and their transformations for linear homopolymers. Examples of both polycaprolactone and polystyrene are examined, and the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to data analysis are given.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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