Positive- and negative-ion chemical ionization gas chromatography/mass spectrometry of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons

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Four groups of isomeric polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) were examined by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) using positive-ion chemical ionization and negative-ion chemical ionization with a variety of reagent gases in order to evaluate the utility of each; differentiation of isomers was the ultimate goal. Hydrogen positive-ion chemical ionization (PICI) yielded different spectra for all but one isomer pair while retaining sensitivity comparable to electron-impact mass spectrometry. Several experimental conditions in the negative-ion mode afforded distinctly different spectra for isomeric PAH, but often sensitivities were reduced. The thirteen model compounds divided approximately into three classes according to the types and extent of reactions of the molecular anion. Class 1 gave as good sensitivity as hydrogen PICI; class 2 gave isomer-dependent spectra, but reduced sensitivity; class 3 gave no isomer differentiation, but greatly enhanced sensitivity. © 1986.

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Analytica Chimica Acta