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A study of gas-phase cationization in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry



A study of gas-phase cationization in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry



Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 20(14): 2165-2169



A specially constructed split sample probe was used to unequivocally demonstrate that gas-phase cationization occurs within the desorption plume during a matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization experiment. Two separate samples were prepared for analysis: on side A, a mixture of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) 1500 analyte and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (DHB) matrix, and on side B a mixture of DHB matrix and lithium hydroxide (LiOH), the cationization reagent. Analysis of the data showed that when the ionization laser was focused on the split (so that both sides were illuminated), Li(+)-cationized PEG peaks were observed. Since the PEG analyte did not come into contact with Li(+) in either the solution or solid phase, the only possibility for the observed cationization was a reaction in the gas phase. Due to the difficulty in completely removing the adventitious cations (Na(+) and K(+)) present in DHB and on sample surfaces, gas-phase cationization could not be demonstrated to be either the only or most important mechanism operating in the MALDI experiment.

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Accession: 048122900

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 16779867

DOI: 10.1002/rcm.2568


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