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Anal Chim Acta. 2007 Jan 16;582(1):1-9. Epub 2006 Sep 9.

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mechanism revisited.

Author information

1
Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.

Abstract

Although matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) was developed more than a decade ago and broad applications have been successfully demonstrated, detailed mechanism of MALDI is still not well understood. Two major models; namely photochemical ionization (PI) and cluster ionization (CI) mechanisms have been proposed to explain many of experimental results. With the photochemical ionization model, analyte ions are considered to be produced from a protonation or deprotonation process involving an analyte molecule colliding with a matrix ion in the gas phase. With the cluster ionization model, charged particles are desorbed with a strong photoabsorption by matrix molecules. Analyte ions are subsequently produced by desolvation of matrix from cluster ions. Nevertheless, many observations still cannot be explained by these two models. In this work, we consider a pseudo proton transfer process during crystallization as a primary mechanism for producing analyte ions in MALDI. We propose an energy transfer induced disproportionation (ETID) model to explain the observation of an equal amount of positive and negative ions produced in MALDI for large biomolecules. Some experimental results are used for comparisons of various models.

PMID:
17386467
DOI:
10.1016/j.aca.2006.08.062
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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