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Methods Protoc. 2018, 1(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/mps1010009

Method for the Routine Determination of Accurate Masses by Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry

Department of Chemistry, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
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Received: 26 November 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 13 February 2018
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Abstract

A new method for the measurement of accurate masses using direct infusion in an electrospray-triple quadrupole mass spectrometer is presented and compared to the traditional method using high-resolution mass spectrometry. The proposed method uses internal calibrants and post-acquisition calibration of the mass spectrum signal using the MassWorks software to determine accurate masses. Then, based on parameters such as elemental composition, number of double bond equivalents, and type of ion (even- or odd-electron), etc., a list of potential molecular formula candidates are generated and ranked according to spectral accuracy, (i.e., similarity between the calibrated profile and theoretical isotopic patterns). Experiments using six diverse synthesis products showed that mass accuracy in the Quattro Premier triple quadrupole mass spectrometer (QqQMS) was ≤9.2 mDa and spectral accuracy was ≥90.6%. According to both mass accuracy tolerance (±10 mDa) and spectral accuracy, the correct molecular formula was ranked in the top seven compounds out of up to 32 potential candidates. When considering the context of the synthesis reaction, only one formula was possible. In summary, results showed that the measurement of spectral accuracy in a low-resolution instrument such as the triple quadrupole was strongly dependent on the signal intensity and the presence of interfering peaks in the profile mass range window. This study suggests that use of triple quadrupole mass spectrometry followed by post-acquisition calibration can be an economical and robust approach compared to the traditional method using high-resolution mass spectrometers for the measurement of accurate masses in routine applications using small organic molecules at microgram-per-litter concentrations in relatively clean matrices. View Full-Text
Keywords: spectral accuracy; organic synthesis; mass spectrometry; low-resolution mass spectrometry; triple quadrupole; small organic molecules spectral accuracy; organic synthesis; mass spectrometry; low-resolution mass spectrometry; triple quadrupole; small organic molecules
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Segura, P.A.; Barry, K.; Eysseric, E.; Gallagher-Duval, S.; Venne, P.; Bélanger, G. Method for the Routine Determination of Accurate Masses by Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry. Methods Protoc. 2018, 1, 9.

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