In ultraviolet matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (UV-MALDI MS) matrix compound optical absorption governs the uptake of laser energy, which in turn has a strong influence on experimental results. Despite this, quantitative absorption measurements are lacking for most matrix compounds. Furthermore, despite the use of UV-MALDI MS to detect a vast range of compounds, investigations into the effects of laser energy have been primarily restricted to single classes of analytes. We report the absolute solid state absorption spectra of the matrix compounds α-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA), para-nitroaniline (PNA), 2-mercaptobenzothiazole (MBT), 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid (2,5-DHB), and 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone (THAP). The desorption/ionization characteristics of these matrix compounds with respect to laser fluence was investigated using mixed systems of matrix with either angiotensin II, PC(34:1) lipid standard, or haloperidol, acting as representatives for typical classes of analyte encountered in UV-MALDI MS. The first absolute solid phase spectra for PNA, MBT, and THAP are reported; additionally, inconsistencies between previously published spectra for CHCA are resolved. In light of these findings, suggestions are made for experimental optimization with regards to matrix and laser wavelength selection. The relationship between matrix optical cross-section and wavelength-dependant threshold fluence, fluence of maximum ion yield, and R, a new descriptor for the change in ion intensity with fluence, are described. A matrix cross-section of 1.3 × 10–17 cm–2 was identified as a potential minimum for desorption/ionization of analytes.
Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 29, 2017
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