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Anal Chem. 2006 Jan 1;78(1):199-206.

Characterization of various analytes using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry and 2-[(2E)-3-(4-tert-butylphenyl)-2-methylprop-2-enylidene]malononitrile matrix.

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  • 1EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Service Centre, Department of Chemistry, University of Wales Swansea, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK.


2-[(2E)-3-(4-tert-Butylphenyl)-2-methylprop-2-enylidene]malononitrile (DCTB) is a nonpolar, aprotic matrix and was used in the analysis of a variety of compounds by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS). The classes of compounds include coordination compounds, organometallics, conjugated organic compounds (including porphyrins and phthalocyanines), carbohydrates, calixarenes, and macrocycles. For some samples, comparisons are made with spectra acquired with the use of 1,8,9-trihydroxyanthracene (dithranol), 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid, and 2,4,6-trihydroxyacetophenone matrixes. Traditionally, the majority of these compounds would have been analyzed by fast-atom bombardment (FAB), liquid secondary ion mass spectrometry (LSIMS), or electrospray techniques, but this work shows that MALDI-TOFMS using DCTB has advantages over these techniques, particularly FAB and LSIMS. Certain limitations of DCTB are noted, for example, in the analysis of water-soluble compounds such as peptides, proteins, and oligonucleotides, and good working practices for the use of the matrix are also outlined.

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