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Solvent and Flow Rate Effects on the Observed Compositional Profiles and the Relative Intensities of Radical and Protonated Species in Atmospheric Pressure Photoionization Mass Spectrometry

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journal contribution
posted on 14.03.2022, 23:43 by Mary J. Thomas, Ho Yi Holly Chan, Diana Catalina Palacio Lozano, Mark P. Barrow
Sample preparation and instrument parameters have regularly been demonstrated to impact upon the observed results in atmospheric pressure photoionization, mass spectrometry (MS), and analytical techniques in general but may be overlooked when such methods are applied to the characterization of real-world samples. An initial investigation into different solvent systems demonstrated that the inclusion of ethyl acetate inverted the ratio of relative intensities of radical and protonated species (R/P). Design of experiments was performed and indicated that the injection flow rate is also a significant factor. The impact of the solvent system and flow rate on signal intensity, the observed compositional profile, and R/P of selected molecular groups is demonstrated further. An inversion of R/P is observed at higher flow rates in solvent systems commonly used in petroleomics studies, effecting a loss of molecular speciation. The findings presented reiterate the critical importance in considering experimental parameters when interpreting the results of analytical procedures.