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Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom. 2006;20(14):2143-50.

New surfaces for desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry: porous silicon and ultra-thin layer chromatography plates.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


The performance of nanoporous silicon (pSi) and ultra-thin layer chromatography (UTLC) plates as surfaces for desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) was compared with that of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), both popular surfaces in previous DESI studies. The limits of detection (LODs) and other analytical characteristics for six different test compounds were determined using all four surfaces. The LODs for the compounds were in the fmol-pmol (pg-ng) range. The LODs with the pSi surface were further improved for each of the compounds when heat was applied to the surface during sample application which gave LODs as low as or lower than those achieved with PMMA and PTFE. The UTLC plates were successfully used as a rapid means of chromatographic separation prior to DESI-MS analysis. Another advantage achieved using the newer pSi and UTLC surfaces was increased speed of analysis, associated with drying of solution-phase samples. This took place immediately at the UTLC surface and it could be achieved rapidly by gently heating the pSi surface. The presence of salts in the sample did not cause suppression of the analyte signal with any of the surfaces.

Copyright (c) 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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