Doped amorphous silica nanoparticles as enhancing agents for surface-assisted time-of-flight mass spectrometry
Lim, Angelina Yimei
Date of Issue2011
School of Materials Science and Engineering
This article examines the use of doped amorphous silica nanoparticles for surface-assisted laser desorption/ionisation-time of flight-mass spectrometry (SALDI-TOF-MS) of hydrophilic and hydrophobic compounds. A range of particles with surface aliphatic carboxylic, aminophenyl, phenyl or aminopropyl groups have been produced and these have been doped with carbon black, polyaniline or graphite. The effects of surface groups and dopants on the laser desorption/ionisation process were studied. The key factor in effective LDI was the presence of carbon black dopant carrying carboxyphenyl or phenyl residues for positive and negative ion formation. The second key factor was the presence of hydrophilic surface functional groups for hydrophilic amino acid analytes for their detection in positive or negative mode as protonated or de-protonated species respectively whereas hydrophobic surfaces were need for ionisation via cationisation for the hydrophobic analyte squalene. The mechanism for LDI of these particles appears to involve initial adsorption of the analyte onto the surface of the particle, formation of primary ions via adsorption of laser UV irradiation by carboxyphenyl residues attached to the carbon black network which act in an equivalent way to the matrix in matrix-assisted LDI. This is followed by reaction of the primary ions with neighbouring adsorbed analyte molecules. The latter are then released possibly via thermal desorption following proton donation or acceptance from/to via surface residues such carboxylate groups associated with the carbon black within the dopant. Alternatively in the absence of such proton donor/acceptor residues as with hydrophobic particles, the primary ions are released from the particles during desorption and form cation adducts as sodiated and potassiated species in the gas phase above the surface.
© 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Analyst, The Royal Society of Chemistry. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C1AN15172J ]