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Advanced Organic Chemistry: Mass spectrum of benzene C6H6

Mass spectrum of benzene C6H6

Doc Brown's Chemistry Advanced Level Pre-University Chemistry Revision Study Notes for UK IB KS5 A/AS GCE advanced A level organic chemistry students US K12 grade 11 grade 12 organic chemistry courses involving molecular spectroscopy analysing mass spectra

image diagram mass spectrum of benzene fragmentation pattern of ions for analysis and identification of benzene  doc brown's advanced organic chemistry revision notes 

benzene C6H6, skeletal formula (c) doc b , structural/displayed formula

Interpreting the mass spectrum of benzene C6H6

[M]+ is the molecular ion peak (M) with an m/z of 78 corresponding to C6H6, the original molecule minus an electron, [C6H6]+.

The small M+1 peak at m/z 9, corresponds to an ionised benzene molecule with one 13C atom in it i.e. an ionised molecule of formula 13C12C5H6

Identifying the species giving the most prominent benzene peaks (apart from M) in the fragmentation pattern of benzene

m/z value of [fragment]+ 77 52 51 50 39    
molecular fragment C6H5 C4H4 C4H3 C4H2 C3H3    

Explaining the principal fragments

The 'phenyl' fragment m/z 77 is formed by the loss a proton from the molecular ion.

[C6H6]+  ===>  [C6H5]+  +  H

This is very indicative of the presence of a benzene ring in the molecule.

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