Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometric analysis of aliphatic biodegradable photoluminescent polymers using new ionic liquid matrices

Carlos A. Serrano, Yi Zhang, Jian Yang, Kevin A. Schug

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In this study, two novel ionic liquid matrices (ILMs), N,N- diisopropylethylammonium 3-oxocoumarate and N,N-diisopropylethylammonium dihydroxymonooxoacetophenoate, were tested for the structural elucidation of recently developed aliphatic biodegradable polymers by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS). The polymers, formed by a condensation reaction of three components, citric acid, octane diol, and an amino acid, are fluorescent, but the exact mechanism behind their luminescent properties has not been fully elucidated. In the original studies, which introduced the polymer class (J. Yang et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2009, 106, 10086-10091), a hyper-conjugated cyclic structure was proposed as the source for the photoluminescent behavior. With the use of the two new ILMs, we present evidence that supports the presence of the proposed cyclization product. In addition, the new ILMs, when compared with a previously established ILM, N,N-diisopropylethylammonium α-cyano-3-hydroxycinnimate, provided similar signal intensities and maintained similar spectral profiles. This research also established that the new ILMs provided good spot-to-spot reproducibility and high ionization efficiency compared with corresponding crystalline matrix preparations. Many polymer features revealed through the use of the ILMs could not be observed with crystalline matrices. Ultimately, the new ILMs highlighted the composition of the synthetic polymers, as well as the loss of water that was expected for the formation of the proposed cyclic structure on the polymer backbone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1152-1158
Number of pages7
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 15 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry

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