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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 7 Issue 4 (2002) pp 226-232

Mass Spectrometry—Finding the Molecular Ion and What It Can Tell You: An Undergraduate Organic Laboratory Experiment

William F. Wood* and Darin Price

Department of Chemistry, Humboldt State University, Arcata CA 95521
Received April 12, 2002. Accepted May 8, 2002

Published online: 5 July 2002

Abstract. Mass spectrometry is a widely used method to obtain information about the structures of molecules. This technique was introduced to beginning first-year organic chemistry students as an experiment that focused on the identification of the molecular ion from experimental data. After students had correctly identified the molecular ion in their samples, they learn other information that can be deduced from the molecular ion.

Key Words:  Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; mass spectrometry; molecular ion information; student exercise

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: August 2, 2002

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