Standard Article

Mass Spectrometry

  1. Charles M. Guttman

Published Online: 22 OCT 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471440264.pst190

Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology

Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology

How to Cite

Guttman, C. M. 2001. Mass Spectrometry. Encyclopedia of Polymer Science and Technology. 3.

Author Information

  1. NIST Polymers Division, Gaithersburg, Maryland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 22 OCT 2001

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The two most common methods used to place charged high mass molecules into the gas phase, electrospray ionization and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (maldi), are described. Because of its dominant use with synthetic polymers, the maldi method is described in detail, including sample preparation and data analysis and the problems this method poses. The time-of-flight mass spectrometry system is also described in detail since it is the most common in use today for synthetic polymers. A variety of applications of maldi to synthetic polymers is reviewed. This includes molecular mass distribution, molecular composition distribution of copolymers, polymer architecture, combinations of maldi-tof-ms with size exclusion chromatography and other forms of polymer chromatography, and the use of maldi in elucidating polymer chemical reaction mechanisms.


  • matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry;
  • maldi;
  • characterization;
  • polymer single-chain characterization;
  • molecular mass distribution (MMD);
  • molecular composition distribution (MCD);
  • polymer characterization;
  • size exclusion chromatography (sec);
  • polymer chromatography;
  • copolymer;
  • polymer architecture