Ion/molecule reactions in a miniature RIT mass spectrometer

Huanwen Chen, Ruifeng Xu, Hao Chen, R. Graham Cooks, Zheng Ouyang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Ion/molecule reactions were explored in a newly developed miniature mass spectrometer fitted with a rectilinear ion trap (RIT) mass analyzer. The tandem mass spectrometry performance of this instrument is demonstrated using collision induced dissociation (CID) and ion/molecule reactions. The latter includes Eberlin transacetalization reactions and electrophilic additions. Selective detection of the chemical warfare simulant dimethyl methyl phosphonate (DMMP) was achieved through selective Eberlin reactions of its characteristic phosphonium fragment ion CH3OP+(O)CH3 (m/z 93), with 1,4-dioxane or 1,3-dioxolane. Efficient adduct formation as a result of electrophilic attack by the phosphonium ion on various nucleophilic reagents, including 1,1,3,3-tetramethyl urea, methanesulfonic acid methyl ester, dimethyl sulfoxide and methyl salicylate, was also observed using the RIT device. The product ions of these reactions were analyzed using CID and the characteristic fragmentation patterns of the ionic addition products were recorded using multiple-stage experiments in the miniature RIT instrument. This study clearly demonstrates that a small, home-built, miniature RIT mass spectrometer can be used to perform analytically useful ion/molecule reactions and also that instruments like this have the potential to provide a portable platform for in situ detection of organophosphorus esters and related compounds with high specificity using tandem mass spectrometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1403-1411
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Spectroscopy


  • Dimethyl methyl phosphonate (DMMP)
  • Ion/molecule reaction
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Miniaturization
  • Phosphonium ion
  • Rectilinear ion trap


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