Negative chemical ionization (NCI) and electroncapture negative ionization (ECNI) are gas chromatography−mass spectrometry (GC−MS) techniques that generate negative ions in the gas phase for compounds containing electronegative atoms or functional groups. In ECNI, gas-phase thermal electrons can be transferred to electrophilic substances to produce M−• ions and scarce fragmentation. As a result of the electrophilicity requirements, ECNI is characterized by high-specificity and low background noise, generally lower than EI, offering lower detection limits. The aim of this work is to explore the possibility of extending typical advantages of ECNI to liquid chromatography−mass spectrometry (LC−MS). The LC is combined with the novel liquid-EI (LEI) LC−EIMS interface, the eluent is vaporized and transferred inside a CI source, where it is mixed with methane as a buffer gas. As proof of concept, dicamba and tefluthrin, agrochemicals with herbicidal and insecticidal activity, respectively, were chosen as model compounds and detected together in a commercial formulation. The pesticides have different chemical properties, but both are suitable analytes for ECNI due to the presence of electronegative atoms in the molecules. The influence of the mobile phase and other LC- and MS-operative parameters were methodically evaluated. Part-per-trillion (ppt) detection limits were obtained. Ion abundances were found to be stable with quantitative linear detection, reliable, and reproducible, with no influence from coeluting interfering compounds from the sample matrix.

Liquid Chromatography−Electron Capture Negative Ionization−Tandem Mass Spectrometry Detection of Pesticides in a Commercial Formulation

Achille Cappiello
;
Veronica Termopoli;Pierangela Palma;Giorgio Famiglini;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Negative chemical ionization (NCI) and electroncapture negative ionization (ECNI) are gas chromatography−mass spectrometry (GC−MS) techniques that generate negative ions in the gas phase for compounds containing electronegative atoms or functional groups. In ECNI, gas-phase thermal electrons can be transferred to electrophilic substances to produce M−• ions and scarce fragmentation. As a result of the electrophilicity requirements, ECNI is characterized by high-specificity and low background noise, generally lower than EI, offering lower detection limits. The aim of this work is to explore the possibility of extending typical advantages of ECNI to liquid chromatography−mass spectrometry (LC−MS). The LC is combined with the novel liquid-EI (LEI) LC−EIMS interface, the eluent is vaporized and transferred inside a CI source, where it is mixed with methane as a buffer gas. As proof of concept, dicamba and tefluthrin, agrochemicals with herbicidal and insecticidal activity, respectively, were chosen as model compounds and detected together in a commercial formulation. The pesticides have different chemical properties, but both are suitable analytes for ECNI due to the presence of electronegative atoms in the molecules. The influence of the mobile phase and other LC- and MS-operative parameters were methodically evaluated. Part-per-trillion (ppt) detection limits were obtained. Ion abundances were found to be stable with quantitative linear detection, reliable, and reproducible, with no influence from coeluting interfering compounds from the sample matrix.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2692789
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