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Advanced Organic Chemistry: Mass spectrum of ethoxyethane

The mass spectrum of ethoxyethane (diethyl ether)

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 of ethoxyethane

mass spectrum of ethoxyethane fragmentation pattern of m/z m/e ions for analysis and identification of  diethyl ether image diagram doc brown's advanced organic chemistry revision notes 

Ethoxyethane C4H10O, alcohols and ether structure and naming (c) doc b , alcohols and ether structure and naming (c) doc b , alcohols and ether structure and naming (c) doc b

Interpreting the mass spectrum of ethoxyethane (diethyl ether)

[M]+ is the molecular ion peak (M) with an m/z of 74 corresponding to [C4H10O]+, the original ethoxyethane molecule minus an electron, [CH3CH2OCH2CH3]+.

The small M+1 peak at m/z 75, corresponds to an ionised ethoxyethane molecule with one 13C atom in it i.e. an ionised ethoxyethane molecule of formula 13C12C3H10O

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

m/z value of [fragment]+ 59 45 43 41 31 29 28 27 15
molecular fragment CH3CH2OCH2 CH3CH2O C2H3O C2HO CH3O CH3CH2 C2H4 C2H3 CH3

Explaining the principal fragments of the mass spectrum of ethoxyethane

The m/z 59 ion is formed by the loss of a methyl group from the parent molecular ion.

[CH3CH2OCH2CH3]+  ===>  [CH3CH2OCH2]+  +  CH3

 The m/z 31 ion is the base peak, the most stable fragment [CH3O]+, structure?

Scission of the C-O bond in the molecular ions gives m/z 45 [CH3CH2O]+  or m/z 29   [CH3CH2]+., both of which have prominent intensities.


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