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Vacuum-Ultraviolet Photoionization and Mass Spectrometric Characterization of Lignin Monomers Coniferyl and Sinapyl Alcohols Print
Saturday, 19 February 2011 00:00

The fragmentation mechanisms of monolignols under various energetic processes are studied with jet-cooled thermal desorption molecular beam (TDMB) mass spectrometry (MS), 25 keV Bi3+ secondary ion MS (SIMS), synchrotron vacuum-ultraviolet secondary neutral MS (VUV-SNMS) and theoretical methods. Experimental and calculated appearance energies of fragments observed in TDMB MS indicate that the coniferyl alcohol photoionization mass spectra contain the molecular parent and several dissociative photoionization products. Similar results obtained for sinapyl alcohol are also discussed briefly. Ionization energies of 7.60 eV ( 0.05 eV for coniferyl alcohol and <7.4 eV for both sinapyl and dihydrosinapyl alcohols are determined. The positive ion SIMS spectrum of coniferyl alcohol shares few characteristic peaks (m/z = 137 and 151) with the TDMB mass spectra, shows extensive fragmentation, and does not exhibit clear molecular parent signals. VUV-SNMS spectra, on the other hand, are dominated by the parent ion and main fragments also present in the TDMB spectra. Molecular fragmentation in VUV-SNMS spectra can be reduced by increasing the extraction delay time. Some features resembling the SIMS spectra are also observed in the desorbed neutral products. The monolignol VUVSNMS peaks shared with the TDMB mass spectra suggest that dissociative photoionization of ion-sputtered neutral molecules predominate in the VUV-SNMS mass spectra, despite the extra internal energy imparted in the initial ion impact. The potential applications of these results to imaging MS of biomolecules are discussed. Article Link (PDF)