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Advanced Organic Chemistry: Mass spectrum of methyl methanoate

The mass spectrum of methyl methanoate

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 methyl methanoate

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

Methyl methanoate (methyl formate) C2H4O2(c) doc b , (c) doc b , (c) doc b

Interpreting the fragmentation pattern of the mass spectrum of methyl methanoate

[M]+ is the molecular ion peak (M) with an m/z of 60 corresponding to [C2H4O2]+, the original methyl methanoate molecule minus an electron, [HCOOCH3]+.

The minute M+1 peak at m/z 61, corresponds to an ionised methyl methanoate molecule with one 13C atom in it i.e. an ionised methyl methanoate molecule of formula 13C12CH4O2

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

m/z value of [fragment]+ 32 ? 31 30 ? 29 28 15
[molecular fragment]+ [O2]+ [H3CO]+ [H2C=O]+ [CHO]+ [CO]+ [CH3]+

Analysing and explaining the principal ions in the fragmentation pattern of the mass spectrum of methyl methanoate

Equations to explain the most abundant ion peaks of methyl methanoate

Formation of m/z 29 ion: [HCOOCH3]+  ===>  [CHO]+  +  OCH3

Formation of m/z 31 ion: [HCOOCH3]+  ===>  [H3CO]+  +  HCO

The m/z 31 ion is the base peak ion, the most abundant and 'stable' ion fragment.

Formation of m/z 30 ion ?: [H3CO]+  ===>  [H2CO]+  +  H

Formation of m/z 15 ion: [HCOOCH3]+  ===>  [CH3]+  +  HCO2

From C-O bond scission.


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