ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

A faster way to weigh electrode products

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Science  26 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6242, pp. 1441
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6242.1441-f

Fermonic 40K atoms on a densely filled optical lattice

PHOTO: LAWRENCE CHEUK/MIT

It's becoming increasingly convenient to measure the mass of chemical compounds. Whereas mass spectrometry used to require intricate preparation, several current implementations can weigh molecules straight from a sample in open air. Brown et al. have now adapted one such technique to study the short-lived initial products of electrochemical oxidation reactions. Their apparatus incorporates a spinning platinum electrode that accumulates a thin film of the reaction medium on its surface. Application of voltage then generates charged products in that film that can be swept into the mass spectrometer within tens of milliseconds. The authors apply the technique to identify diimine intermediates in both uric acid and xanthine oxidations.

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/jacs.5b03862 (2015).

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