A qualitative and quantitative post-mortem analysis: Studying free-radical initiation processes via soft ionization mass spectrometry

Dominik Voll, Thomas Junkers, Christopher Barner-Kowollik

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20 Citations (Scopus)


The current article contains a review of the electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry characterization of polymers prepared via thermal- and photoinitiation processes. The used analysis method permits direct access to detailed endgroup information. For a qualitative and quantitative endgroup analysis, sophisticated methods have been developed which provide a detailed image of the incorporation propensity of thermally as well as photolytically generated radicals at the polymer chain termini. Such a post-mortem analysis of polymeric materials specifically allows for the quantification of the ability of radical fragments to initiate polymerization processes. Herein, the most recent progress in the field of mass spectrometric radical reactivity mapping is outlined and open questions as well as future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2739-2757
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part A: Polymer Chemistry
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • initiators
  • laser-induced polymers
  • mass spectrometry
  • photopolymerization
  • radical polymerization
  • size exclusion chromatography (SEC)
  • thermal initiators

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