The collision-induced dissociation of the protonated five-arm star propoxylated diethylenetriamine polyols was studied under electrospray conditions. Two product ion series were detected because of the cleavage of the C'N bonds in the initiator moiety. No backbone fragmentation of the polyether chains was observed, which allowed to explore the initiation and side-chain propagation process of the oligomers. On the basis of MS/MS spectra, it is probable that the rate of the initiation is larger than that of the chain propagation. The propylene oxide repeat units attach to the five arms with approximately the same probability. Furthermore, it was found that the collision energy necessary to obtain 50% fragmentation (CE50) was linearly dependent on the molecular weight of the polyols.
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