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Annu Rev Anal Chem (Palo Alto Calif). 2010;3:231-54. doi: 10.1146/annurev.anchem.111808.073740.

Electrochemical aspects of electrospray and laser desorption/ionization for mass spectrometry.

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Laboratoire d'Electrochimie Physique et Analytique, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland.


Soft-ionization methods, namely electrospray ionization and laser desorption/ionization, are widely used to transfer large molecules as intact gas-phase ions either from a solution or from a solid substrate. During both processes, in-source electrochemical and photoelectrochemical reactions occur. These electrode reactions, which take place at interfaces, play important roles in influencing the ionization products, but they have received little attention. We show that having good control over both types of electrochemical reactions can lead to new analytical applications. Examples include online tagging by grafting of mass tags and in-source photooxidation of peptides.

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