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Advanced Organic Chemistry: Mass spectrum of propylamine

The mass spectrum of propylamine (1-aminopropane)

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 propylamine

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

propylamine, (1-aminopropane), C3H9N, (c) doc b , (c) doc b , (c) doc b

Interpreting the fragmentation pattern of the mass spectrum of propylamine

[M]+ is the molecular ion peak (M) with an m/z of 59 corresponding to [C3H9N]+, the original propylamine molecule minus an electron, [CH3CH2CH2NH2]+.

The tiny M+1 peak at m/z 60, corresponds to an ionised propylamine molecule with one 13C atom in it i.e. an ionised propylamine molecule of formula 13C12C2H9N

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


m/z value of [fragment]+ 58 41 39 30 28 27 18 15
[molecular fragment]+ [C3H8N]+ [C3H5] or [C2H3N]+ [C3H3]+ [CH2NH2]+ [C2H4]+ [C2H3]+ [?]+ [CH3]+

Explaining the principal fragments of the mass spectrum of propylamine

Equations to explain the most abundant ion peaks

Formation of m/z 41 ion: [CH3CH2CH2NH2]+  ===>  [CH2CH2NH2]+  +  CH3

Loss of methyl group from parent molecular ions

Formation of m/z 30 ion:  [CH3CH2CH2NH2]+  ===>  [CH2NH2]+  +  CH2CH3

The m/z 30 ion is the base peak, the most stable ion fragment.

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