Publication Details

Paine, M. R. L., Barker, P. J. & Blanksby, S. J. (2014). Ambient ionisation mass spectrometry for the characterisation of polymers and polymer additives: a review. Analytica Chimica Acta, 808 70-82.


The purpose of this review is to showcase the present capabilities of ambient sampling and ionisation technologies for the analysis of polymers and polymer additives by mass spectrometry (MS) while simultaneously highlighting their advantages and limitations in a critical fashion. To qualify as an ambient ionisation technique, the method must be able to probe the surface of solid or liquid samples while operating in an open environment, allowing a variety of sample sizes, shapes, and substrate materials to be analysed. The main sections of this review will be guided by the underlying principle governing the desorption/extraction step of the analysis; liquid extraction, laser ablation, or thermal desorption, and the major component investigated, either the polymer itself or exogenous compounds (additives and contaminants) present within or on the polymer substrate. The review will conclude by summarising some of the challenges these technologies still face and possible directions that would further enhance the utility of ambient ionisation mass spectrometry as a tool for polymer analysis.



Link to publisher version (DOI)