We report the observation of the electrochemically generated nitrenium ions of 4,4′-dimethyoxydiphenylamine and di-p-tolylamine in solution by mass spectrometry. This setup takes inspiration from desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry to sample directly from the surface of a rotating waterwheel working electrode for mass spectrometric analysis. Detection of the 4,4′-dimethyoxydiphenylamine nitrenium ion was expected based upon para-methoxy resonance stabilization, whereas observation of the di-p-tolylamine nitrenium ion might be unexpected because resonance stabilization from the para-substituted position is unavailable. However, the short timescale analysis of the setup allows for the isolation of the di-p-tolylamine nitrenium ion, which is electrogenerated in solution and detected mass spectrometrically.
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