The coupling of electrospray ionization mass spectrometry with gel permeation chromatography (GPC) has been used for the separation of a commercial polydisperse mixture of octylphenoxypoly(ethoxy)ethanol. Stable electrospray conditions are obtained upon using, as GPC solvent, tetrahydrofuran containing 10−5−10−4M sodium salt which also provides for the formation of intact molecular ions through cationization. Selected-ion chromatograms of sodiated species allow for the monitoring of the elution profiles of individual oligomers, and can be used for the calibration of the GPC.
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