Site of alkylation ofN-methyl- andN-ethylaniline in the gas phase: a tandem mass spectrometric study
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N-Methylaniline (NMA) was ethylated and N-ethylaniline (NEA) was methylated under chemical ionization conditions using C(2)H(5)I and CH(3)I, respectively, as reagent gases. The structures of the resulting m/z 136 adduct ions have been probed using metastable ion and collision-induced dissociation (CID) methods. From the similarity of the spectra obtained and from the presence of structure-diagnostic ions at m/z 59 (CH(3)NHC(2)H(5) (+*)) and m/z 44 (CH(3)NHCH(2) (+)), it is concluded that predominantly N-alkylation occurs in both systems. This interpretation was aided by the use of C(2)D(5)I and CD(3)I as reagents. Adduct ions of m/z 136 were also formed by ethylation of the isomeric toluidines and by methylation of the ring-ethylanilines. The resulting CID mass spectra were distinctly different from those obtained for the m/z 136 ions obtained by alkylation of NMA and NEA. Protonation of N-ethyl-N-methylaniline using CH(3)C(==O)CH(3) as Brønsted acid reagent produced an m/z 136 species whose CID mass spectrum also featured intense ion signals at m/z 59 and 44. This observation led to the conclusion that protonation with acetone as reagent results, in this case, in dominant N-protonation. However, the CID mass spectrum of the m/z 136 ion formed when CH(3)OH was the protonating agent featured a weak signal at m/z 44 and no signal at m/z 59. Hence it was concluded that the latter m/z 136 ion contains a larger contribution from the ring-protonated adduct.
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