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Analysis of oligomeric peroxides in synthetic triacetone triperoxide samples by tandem mass spectrometry

NCJ Number
Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry Volume: 23 Issue: 3 Dated: 2009 Pages: 349-356
Date Published
January 2009
8 pages

This research article examines analysis of Oligomeric peroxides formed in the synthesis of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) during electrospray ionization (ESI) and chemical ionization.



Oligomeric peroxides formed in the synthesis of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) have been analyzed by mass spectrometry utilizing both electrospray ionization (ESI) and chemical ionization (CI) to form sodiated adducts (by ESI) and ammonium adducts (by CI and ESI). Tandem mass spectrometry and deuterium isotopic labeling experiments have been used to elucidate the collision-induced dissociation (CID) mechanisms for the adducts. The CID mechanisms differ for the sodium and ammonium adducts and vary with the size of the oligoperoxide. The sodium adducts of the oligoperoxides, H[OOC(CH3)2]nOOH, do not cyclize under CID, whereas the ammonium adducts of the smaller oligoperoides (n < 6) do form the cyclic peroxides under CID. Larger oligoperoxide adducts with both sodium and ammonium undergo dissociation through cleavage of the backbone under CID to form acyl- and hydroperoxy-terminated oligomers of the general form CH3C(O)[OOC(CH3)2]xOOH, where x is an integer less than the original oligoperoxide degree of oligomerization. The oligoperoxide distribution is shown to vary batch-to-batch in the synthesis of TATP and the post-blast distribution differs slightly from the distribution in the uninitiated material. The oligoperoxides are shown to be decomposed under gentle heating. (Publisher abstract provided)


Date Published: January 1, 2009