Specific interaction between negative atmospheric ions and organic compounds in atmospheric pressure corona discharge ionization mass spectrometry

J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2012 Jun;23(6):1109-19. doi: 10.1007/s13361-012-0363-5. Epub 2012 Apr 17.


The interaction between negative atmospheric ions and various types of organic compounds were investigated using atmospheric pressure corona discharge ionization (APCDI) mass spectrometry. Atmospheric negative ions such as O(2)(-), HCO(3)(-), COO(-)(COOH), NO(2)(-), NO(3)(-), and NO(3)(-)(HNO(3)) having different proton affinities served as the reactant ions for analyte ionization in APCDI in negative-ion mode. The individual atmospheric ions specifically ionized aliphatic and aromatic compounds with various functional groups as atmospheric ion adducts and deprotonated analytes. The formation of the atmospheric ion adducts under certain discharge conditions is most likely attributable to the affinity between the analyte and atmospheric ion and the concentration of the atmospheric ion produced under these conditions. The deprotonated analytes, in contrast, were generated from the adducts of the atmospheric ions with higher proton affinity attributable to efficient proton abstraction from the analyte by the atmospheric ion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atmosphere / chemistry*
  • Atmospheric Pressure
  • Ions / chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Organic Chemicals / chemistry*
  • Protons


  • Ions
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Protons