Poly(ethylene terephthalate) PET is one of the most important polyesters used in industry. It is most commonly used in fabric applications (such as DACRON) but also has large markets in plastic bottles and films. In terms of conformational studies, PET is a particularly appealing polymer because it contains rigid and flexible segments that can lead to interesting structures and folding dynamics.
Ion mobility experiments and molecular modeling of small PET oligomers cationized by a variety of alkali ions not only yield conformational data but also give detailed energetic and dynamic information concerning the relative stabilities of conformational families and the process of one conformer converting into another. Other issues that are addressed include the formation of M+PET ions in the MALDI source and the use of mass spectrometry to accurately measure the molecular weight distributions of M+PET polymers.