Amine-related psychoactive molecules contain N-Cα and Cα-Cβ bonds, which easily dissociate to form various fragment ions in electron ionization mass spectrometry (EIMS). Therefore, observing a molecular ion and then determining the molecular weight of the analyte is difficult. In this study, we examined phenethylamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyphenethylamine, tryptamine, N-methylephedrine, and nicotine as well as analogues of amine-related psychoactive substances using EIMS and femtosecond laser ionization mass spectrometry (fs-LIMS) combined with gas chromatography for comprehensive analysis. A molecular ion was clearly observed in fs-LIMS for all of these compounds, which was in contrast to EIMS providing fragment ions dominantly (no molecular ion was observed for N-methylephedrine). This favorable result was obtained by adjusting the laser wavelength to the optimal value for two-photon ionization to minimize the excess energy remaining in the molecular ion. It therefore appears that fs-LIMS is superior to EIMS in terms of observing a molecular ion and would be potentially useful for identifying a variety of amine-related psychoactive substances, some of which are illegal and are of interest in the field of forensic science.
|Journal||Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2021|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology