Advanced Organic Chemistry: Mass spectrum of propanone
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The mass spectrum of propanone (acetone)
Doc Brown's Chemistry Advanced Level Pre-University Chemistry Revision Study Notes for UK IB KS5 A/AS GCE advanced A level organic chemistry students US K12 grade 11 grade 12 organic chemistry courses involving molecular spectroscopy analysing mass spectra of propanone
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propanone (acetone, dimethyl ketone), C3H6O, , , ,
[M]+ is the molecular ion peak (M) with an m/z of 58 corresponding to [C3H6O]+, the original propanone molecule minus an electron, [CH3COCH3]+.
The small M+1 peak at m/z 59, corresponds to an ionised propanone molecule with one 13C atom in it i.e. an ionised propanone molecule of formula 13C12C2H6O
Carbon-13 only accounts for ~1% of all carbon atoms (12C ~99%), but the more carbon atoms in the molecule, the greater the probability of observing this 13C M+1 peak.
Propanone has 3 carbon atoms, so on average, ~1 in 33 molecules will contain a 13C atom and you can actually see the M + 1 peak is much smaller than the M peak (ratio ~33 : 1)
This sort of argument also applies to fragment ions from the parent molecular ion of propanone - though the ratio will be greater.
Identifying the species giving the most prominent peaks (apart from M) in the fragmentation pattern of propanone.
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