Investigation of Colloidal Graphite as a Matrix for Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation Mass Spectrometry of Low Molecular Weight Analytes

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Abstract

The analysis of low molecular weight compounds by Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation mass spectrometry is problematic due to the interference and suppression of analyte ionisation by the matrices typically employed – which are themselves low molecular weight compounds. The application of colloidal graphite is demonstrated here as an easy to use matrix that can promote the ionisation of a wide range of analytes including low molecular weight organic compounds, complex natural products and inorganic complexes. Analyte ionisation with colloidal graphite is compared with traditional organic matrices along with various other sources of graphite (e.g. graphite rods and charcoal pencils). Factors such as ease of application, spectra reproducibility, spot longevity, spot-to-spot reproducibility and spot homogeneity (through single spot imaging) are explored. For some analytes considerable matrix suppression effects are observed resulting in spectra completely devoid of matrix ions. We also report the observation of radical molecular ions [M-●] in the negative ion mode, particularly with some aromatic analytes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-503
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Mass Spectrometry
Volume51
Issue number7
Early online date10 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • MALDI
  • colloidal graphite
  • matrix suppression
  • small molecules
  • matrix

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