Infrared matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization using OH, NH and CH vibrational absorption

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The matrices succinic acid (butanedioc acid), caffeic acid (3,4-dihydroxycinnamic acid), and 4-nitroaniline were used to obtain matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight mass spectra using a Nd:YAG-pumped optical parametric oscillator (OPO). The matrices were used to ionize the protein bovine insulin at wavelengths between 2.6 and 4.0 μm. Protonated insulin was observed between 2.81 and 3.55 μm with succinic acid, between 2.73 and 3.5 μm with caffeic acid, and in two distinct bands with 4-nitroaniline: one from 2.85 to 3.1 μm and another between 3.4 and 3.5 μm. The best signal and mass resolution were found at approximately 2.9 μm for all matrices. The minimum laser fluence required for MALDI (threshold fluence) was compared to the IR absorption spectra of the solid matrix. We found a good correlation between IR absorption and inverse threshold fluence for the NH and CH stretch absorption bands of 4-nitroaniline. The threshold fluence was lower than expected between 2.81 and 3.3 μm for succinic acid and between 2.73 and 2.85 μm for caffeic acid. The low threshold fluence and good MALDI performance in the 2.9 μm region can be explained by free OH group or residual water absorption.

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Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry

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