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Mesoporous Silica for Desorption-Ionization Mass Spectrometry

A. Dattelbaum and S. Iyer
Los Alamos National Laboratory, US

mesoporous, silica, desorption-ionization, mass spectrometry

Here we demonstrate the use of mesoporous silica thin films for matrix free laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MS). In spite of the growing acceptance of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry for biomolecular analysis, its use in small molecule analysis and tandem MS experiments has been limited. This is chiefly due to interference from matrix molecules and/or issues with uniform energy transfer from matrix to analyte upon UV laser excitation. Further, known matrices are specific for certain molecules, which is an obstacle to rapid analysis of a diverse set of samples. In light of this, recent efforts to develop matrix-free desorption-ionization approaches assume significance. Currently available supports for matrix-free MS include porous silicon and sol-gel-titania films. Mesoporous silica thin films are shown here to be an alternative matrix-free support for mass spectrometry analyses of small molecules (

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