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........ published in NEWSLETTER # 70

By Professor Keith R. Jennings, University of Warwick, Coventry (U.K.)

Although mass spectrometry was first described in the early part of this century, new instrumental developments and techniques continue to emerge and these, together with our increased understanding of the fundamentals of gas phase ion physics and chemistry, ensure that new applications of the technique are constantly being found.

During the last decade, the commercial availability of new ionisation techniques such as matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation (MALDI) and electrospray ionisation (ESI) has widened the range of samples for which useful mass spectra can be obtained, especially those of natural and synthetic polymers and those of biological origin.

Similarly, improvements in mass analysers have greatly extended the mass range and mass accuracy attainable. Concomitant with these instrumental developments has been a growth in our understanding of various more fundamental aspects of gas phase ions such as the properties of cluster ions and other weakly- bonded ionic species and in the development of theoretical treatments of the properties of gas phase ions.

This volume (NATO ASI SERIES C521) contains articles based on many of the lectures given at the meeting held at Grainau, Germany in August 1995, covering a variety of fundamental and applied topics in the physics and chemistry of gas phase ion chemistry. In addition, summaries of subject matter discussed at a number of workshops are included. The diversity of subject matter covered is a clear indication of how the interplay between theory and practice continues to widen the range of subject areas in which mass spectrometry makes an important contribution.The fundamentals of the subject are covered in articles on the theoretical aspects of structure, energetics and dynamics of polyatomic ions, together with accounts of the structures of intermediates in ionic gas phase organic reactions and reaction mechanisms.

Other articles describe the fundamentals of negative ion photoelectron spectroscopy, internal rotation in substituted toluene ions, collisions of ions with surfaces, ion molecule reactions and radiation chemistry, and reactions of cluster ions, state-selected species and metal-containing ions.

Developments in instrumentation are described in articles on liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry, Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance spectrometry and collision-induced decomposition of ions. Applications of mass spectrometry are covered in articles on long-chain fatty acid derivatives, flavonoid glycosides, carbohydrates, synthetic polymers and a number of other bio-analytical applications. This volume should be of interest to those working on fundamental aspects of gas phase ion chemistry but who wish to learn more of the ever-increasing range of applications of mass spectrometry. Conversely, those working on applications will find that the chapters on the more fundamental aspects of the subject will provide them with a firm theoretical foundation on which to build and from which new applications will doubtless flow.
Reference Books: C347, C353, C475, C504, C510, C521

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