Hilkka Kenttamaa

Hilkka Kenttamaa Profile Picture

Professor—Analytical Chemistry and Organic Chemistry

Contact Info:


Training Group(s):
Chemical Biology

Active Mentor - currently hosting PULSe students for laboratory rotations and recruiting PULSe students into the laboratory; serves on preliminary exam committees

Current Research Interests:

We are interested in various aspects of organic and bioorganic mass spectrometry. The focus areas include fundamental understanding of gas-phase ion chemistry and structural characterization of molecules.

Mass spectrometry provides a powerful tool for the analysis of organic and biomolecules. Chemical ionization methods are developed for (1) distinction of isomeric compounds, (2) structural characterization of complex molecules, such as drug metabolites and peptides, and (3) examination of the composition of complex mixtures, especially degraded biomass intended for conversion to biofuels. Laser-based methods are developed for evaporation of intact neutral biopolymers into mass spectrometers.

 Mass spectrometry allows the direct examination of organic and biological reaction intermediates that are difficult to study by other experimental approaches. The information obtained on the molecules' intrinsic properties provides the basis for understanding of their behavior in solution. This work includes the design of gas-phase synthesis strategies, kinetic and thermochemical studies, and molecular orbital calculations on aromatic radicals and biradicals, nucleotide radical cations and peptide radical cations. The knowledge obtained in these studies aids the understanding of DNA and protein degradation by antitumor drugs and UV irradiation.

Selected Publications:

Amegayibor, A.S.; Nash, J.J.; Lee, A.S>; Thoen, J.; Petzold, C.; Kenttamaa, H.I., Chemical Properties of a para-Benzyne. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2002 , 124, 12066-12067.

Amundson, L. M.;Gallardo, V. A.;Vinueza, N. R.;Owen, B. C.;Reece, J. N.;Habicht, S. C.;Fu, M. K.;Shea, R. C.;Mossman, A. B.;Kenttamaa, H. I., Identification and Counting of Oxygen Functionalities and Alkyl Groups of Aromatic Analytes in Mixtures by Positive-Mode Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry Coupled with High-Performance Liquid Chromatography . Energy & Fuels 2012 , 26 , 2975-2989.

Eismin, R. J.;Fu, M. K.;Yem, S.;Widjaja, F.;Kenttamaa, H. I., Identification of Epoxide Functionalities in Protonated Monofunctional Analytes by Using Ion/Molecule Reactions and Collision-Activated Dissociation in Different Ion Trap Tandem Mass Spectrometers . Journal of the American Society for Mass 2012 , 23 , 12-22.

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