Highly selective gas-phase reactions with ethyl vinyl ether (EVE) of major electron (EI) and chemical ionization (CI) fragment ions of the explosives TNT and RDX have been uncovered. The fragment ion of m/z 210 from TNT undergoes [4+ + 2] cycloaddition with EVE to form an oxo-iminium ion of m/z 282, which dissociates by acetaldehyde loss after a [1,5-H] shift to form a quinolynium ion of m/z 238. The fragment ion of m/z 149 from RDX reacts with EVE by a formal vinylation reaction, that is, the elusive cyclic adduct loses ethanol to yield a nitro-iminium ion of m/z 175, which reacts further with EVE to form a second cyclic product ion of m/z 247. Calculations and MS/MS experiments support the proposed structures. These highly characteristic reactions of diagnostic EI and CI fragment ions improve selectivity for TNT and RDX detection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Metals and Alloys
- Materials Chemistry