Published Paper and Patent

Large-Area Graphene Films as Target Surfaces for Highly Reproducible M…

2020-07-21 16:21
Large-Area Graphene Films as Target Surfaces for Highly Reproducible Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Suitable for Quantitative Mass Spectrometry​

​Choi YK, Oh JY, Han SY
J AM Soc Mass Spectrom, 2018, Epub ahead of print​

​Due to the known sweet-spot issues that intrinsically arise from inhomogeneous formation of matrix-analyte crystals utilized as samples in matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry, its reproducibility and thus its applications for quantification have been somewhat limited. In this paper, we report a simple strategy to improve the uniformity of matrix-analyte crystal spots, which we realized by adapting large-area graphene films, i.e., non-inert, interacting surfaces, as target surfaces. In this example, the graphitic surfaces of the graphene films interact with excess matrix molecules during the sample drying process, which induces spontaneous formation of optically uniform MALDI sample crystal layers on the film surfaces. Further, mass spectrometric imaging reveals that the visible uniformity is indeed accompanied by reproducible MALDI ionization over an entire sample spot, which greatly suppresses the appearance of sweet spots. The results of this study confirm that the proposed method achieves good linear responses of ion intensity to the analyte concentration (R2 > 0.99) with small relative standard deviations (σ < 10%), which is a range applicable for quantitative measurements using MALDI mass spectrometry.