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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Delayed extraction experiments using a repulsing potential before ion extraction: evidence of non-covalent clusters as ion precursor in UV matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization. Part II--Dynamic effects with alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid matrix.

Delayed extraction experiments were undertaken to gain a better insight into the dynamic effects involved in the ion formation in UV matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization. Part I1 was devoted to a 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic (2,5-DHB) matrix. The results clearly demonstrated the existence and the role of high-mass precursors corresponding to a non-covalent matrix-analyte association in ion formation. In this complementary study, ion flight time and abundance were studied as a function of the delay extraction time using the matrix alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (HCCA). Under our instrumental conditions, where ejected ions experienced a low repulsing electric field before extraction, two main results were obtained: (i) two ion components are observed in the peak profiles depending on the repulsing field, a first, major component (I) similar to that observed for 2,5-DHB and a second, minor component (II) apparently triggered by the delayed extraction pulse, and (ii) ion time-of-flight variation vs delay time remained lower than that noted with 2,5-DHB matrix, indicating that the initial axial velocity is smaller. The initial kinetic energy of matrix and low molecular mass peptide ions for the component I is not high enough to overcome the repulsing potential in the delay time range (200-2200 ns) and we have to assume that ions have non-covalent clusters as precursors. Complete desolvation of these clusters-aggregates would be achieved through the extraction step. Simulations of the ion time-of-flight as a function of the delay time allow the determination of the average size of the precursors, typically 4500, 40000 and 50000 u for HCCA, ACTH 7-38 and bovine insulin quasi-molecular ion, respectively, assuming that the precursors are singly charged. The size of these ion precursors is greater than that of those generated for 2,5-DHB. For component II, ions are probably not solvated and they are directly desorbed from the target. Taking into account the results on HCCA and 2,5-DHB matrices and other results from the literature, a general model for ion formation based on clusters as ion precursors is proposed and discussed.[1]


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