Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Patrick, Amanda L.

Committee Member

Emerson, Joseph P.

Committee Member

Mlsna, Debra A.

Committee Member

Mlsna, Todd E.

Committee Member

Wipf, David O.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Chemistry


Mass spectrometry (MS) has become a widely used technique for the characterization of a wide range of substances in diverse fields. The selection of appropriate ionization techniques, source parameters, charge carriers based on the analyte’s polarity is essential in MS as only the ions are detected. When using a soft ionization technique, single stage-MS at best provides only chemical composition; thus, tandem MS is needed to determine structural information and dissociation pathways. This dissertation focuses on the characterization of various small molecules and ions using different ionization techniques, charge carriers, and collision-induced dissociation (CID).

In Chapter II, commercially available ionic liquid (IL) cations, specifically imidazolium-based IL cations with different side-chain chemistries, were characterized by CID-MS. The imidazolium-based IL cations have diverse dissociations pathways depending on the nature of the side chain (aliphatic or aromatic) or the functional groups (allyl, vinyl, alcohol, methoxy, nitro) present on the side chain. Additionally, it was observed that some IL cations undergo thermal degradation under normal operating temperatures of electrospray ~275 °C. A variety of experimental and complementary computational chemistry results are presented.

In Chapter III, cis-3-hydroxyproline (c3hPro) and cis-4-hydroxyproline (c4hPro) isomers were differentiated upon lithiation using CID-MS. The CID-MS of [c4hPro+Li]+ produces three primary fragmentation pathways, namely the neutral losses of H2O, CO, and CO2; whereas CID-MS of [c3hPro+Li]+ produces only loss of CO2 in this same region. These observations may have analytical utility, and in this work, the experimental observations were explored with thermodynamic and transition state calculations to better understand the processes.

In Chapter IV, the accurate mass of synthetic monomers including PAH perfluorocycloalkene monomers and their precursors were measured and reported with a publication-quality mass accuracy using atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI)-MS. Additionally, the effect of solution flow rate, ionization mode, source parameters (such as vaporization temperature, dry gas temperature and dry gas flow rate, nebulizer gas pressure), acidification, and different solvent systems on APCI-MS signal intensity were studied.