# ACD/Labs Blog

## Logic Puzzle #22: The Art of Uncovering the Molecular Formula

It is fairly route for an elucidator investigating an unknown compound to relate data from multiple spectroscopies. This puzzle aims at establishing a molecular formula from a set of spectroscopic data. For an unknown organic, a ESI(neg.)-ToF mass spectrum for a singly-charged species and a 13C NMR spectrum are supplied below. In addition, the 1H...

## Logic Puzzle #9: Does my Unknown contain Br, Cl, S and/or Si atoms? … Solution 2

Atoms like Br, Cl, S and Si present distinct isotope patterns on a mass spectrum. The isotope pattern for a single Br or Cl atom tends to be relatively straightforward and can be viewed directly off the spectrum. In the case for S and Si atoms, a little math is generally required to reveal their...

## Logic Puzzle #9: Does my Unknown contain Br, Cl, S and/or Si atoms? … Solution

There are two approaches to solving this problem set. The “quick” approach is to subtract the mass of 10 carbon atoms from the mass of the molecular mass and see if the difference can account for the atoms Br, Cl, S and/or Si. The “longer” approach is to examine the isotope patterns on the MS...

## Logic Puzzle #9: Does my Unknown contain Br, Cl, S and/or Si atoms?

Characteristic isotopic patterns in MS can assist the elucidator in revealing the presence or absence of atoms. For the Br, Cl, S and Si atoms, a good approach is to examine the peak intensity of the A+2 signal. The respective contributions by the isotopes 81Br, 37Cl, 34S and 30Si are approximately 49.3, 24.3, 4.2 and...

## Will the correct structure please stand up? … Part 2

Part 1 presented a challenge to determine an experiment to distinguish two very similar products from each other, namely 3-methyl-5-(pyridin-2-yloxy)pyridine and 5′-methyl-2H-1,3′-bipyridin-2-one. The products have identical formula weights and the LC/MS and 1H NMR are too similar to draw any conclusion from. The first step is to determine what is different between the two products...

## Will the correct structure please stand up? … Part 1

Many organic chemists—if not all—check to see if a synthetic reaction is complete via TLC and LC/MS and/or 1H NMR. At the same time, the chemists are using the analytical data to verify that the final product is what they intended on making. In some cases, LC/MS and 1H NMR do not adequately distinguish one potential product...

## My Column is Bleeding

Whenever a GC column is used to identify and/or quantify a sample, the column stationary phase can bleed into the MS source along with the sample. High column bleed can hinder the analysis of a sample. The resulting spectral interference typically manifests itself as discrete peaks and/or an increase in the drift of the baseline, which...

## Re-evaluating the data from MS and NMR … Part 4

With any type of data, there is an inherent risk of misinterpretation. My advice to elucidators is to consider multiple solutions and examine each one thoroughly. In the end, the answer to any problem set lies in tying together the bits of information in hopes of understanding the bigger picture. Recap of the problem: The...

## Re-evaluating the data from MS and NMR … Part 1

Structure elucidators will routinely use data from multiple techniques such as MS and NMR to build a proposed structure(s). When dealing with data from multiple techniques, the issue may arise that the data seem to contradict each other. In these cases, it is best to step back and re-evaluate the data from a different angle....

## Determining the Site of Modification … Part 3

Tandem mass spectrometry involves the process of selecting and separating a product ion(s) (or daughter ion(s)) and fragmenting it in a second mass analyzer. This is commonly referred to as MS/MS or MS2. Additional tandem processes can be applied to ions in the MS/MS data to create MS3 data, and so forth. The metabolites A...