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J Phys Chem B. 2008 Jun 12;112(23):6952-6. doi: 10.1021/jp710726c. Epub 2008 May 20.

Competing ion decomposition channels in matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization.

Author information

1
Department of Chemistry, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 20052, USA.

Abstract

We gauged the internal energy transfer for two dissociative ion decomposition channels in matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) using the benzyltriphenylphosphonium (BTP) thermometer ion [PhCH 2PPh 3] (+). Common MALDI matrixes [alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (CHCA), 3,5-dimethoxy-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (sinapinic acid, SA), and 2,5-dihydroxycinnamic acid (DHB)] were studied with nitrogen laser (4 ns pulse length) and mode-locked 3 x omega Nd:YAG laser (22 ps pulse length) excitation. Despite the higher fluence required to initiate fragmentation, BTP ions indicated lower internal energy transfer with the picosecond laser in all three matrixes. These differences can be rationalized in terms of phase explosion induced by the nanosecond laser vs a stress-confinement-driven desorption mechanism for the picosecond laser. For the two ion production channels of the BTP thermometer ion, breaking a single bond can result in the formation of benzyl/tropylium ions, F1, or triphenylphosphine ions, F2. In SA and DHB, as well as in CHCA at low fluence levels, the efficiency of these channels (expressed by the branching ratio I F1/ I F2) is moderately in favor of producing tropylium ions, 1 < I F1/ I F2 < 6. As the laser fluence is increased, for CHCA, there is a dramatic shift in favor of the tropylium ion production, with I F1/ I F2 approximately 30 for the nanosecond and the picosecond laser, respectively. This change is correlated with the sudden increase in the BTP internal energies in CHCA in the same laser fluence range. The large changes observed in internal energy deposition for CHCA with laser fluence can account for its ability to induce fragmentation in peptides more readily than SA and DHB.

PMID:
18489138
DOI:
10.1021/jp710726c
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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