Analysis of Additives in a Polymer

Using the Agilent 6120B Single Quadrupole MS and MassWorks accurate mass elemental composition determination software.

High molecular weight materials, such as plastics, are indispensable in daily life. High molecular weight materials contain traces of additives such as antioxidants and ultraviolet-absorbing compounds. It is important to understand their impact on the polymer and its quality. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is an analytical method that is effective for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of these additives. In HPLC, UV detection is the most common detector used, but it is difficult to identify unknown components by UV, due to a lack of specificity. A more powerful, affordable, and simple-to-operate alternative is a single quadrupole LC/MS.

Polymer Analysis
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LC & MS conditions:

To provide the specificity needed and improve confidence in compound identification, mass spectrometers provide information about the molecular weight of the target component. Single quadrupole mass detectors such as the Agilent 6120B Single Quadrupole LC/MS System or the InfinityLab LC/MSD Series provide unit mass resolution data, and are accurate only to the 0.x amu level.

MassWorks software from Cerno Biosciences is a powerful and complementary post-processing tool that significantly increases the mass accuracy of data from single quad mass spectrometers. MassWorks works by applying a calibration technique that produces accurate mass data down to 0.00x amu from unit mass resolution data. The combination of Single Quadrupole MS and MassWorks software provides an affordable approach to obtaining high mass accuracy data.

Results Obtained:

Additives in a polymer film were analyzed using the Agilent 6120B Single Quadrupole LC/MS System. MassWorks software was used to calibrate the unit-mass MS data obtained by the quadrupole mass spectrometer into an accurate mass spectrum.

The accurate mass spectrum was used to determine the elemental composition (formula) of unknown components by MassWorks. The resulting formula for the additive contained in the polymer was searched against a chemical database to determine a potential structure.

This approach turns an affordable and simple to use single quadrupole MS into a powerful tool that provides accurate mass information about unknown compounds for the analysis of materials. MassWorks is a post processing MS calibration and analysis software provided by Cerno Bioscience.

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Application Notes

Analysis of Additives in a Polymer

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