A compact time-of-flight mass spectrometer for the structural analysis of biological molecules using laser desorption.

T. Cornish, Robert J. Cotter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A compact laser-desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometer using a 600 ps nitrogen laser and 1 Gsample/s transient recorder is described. The instrument incorporates two electrically-isolatable, reflecting flight tubes designed for subsequent configuration of the mass spectrometer as a tandem instrument. In this first report, we compare mass resolution in the laser-desorption mass spectra of an organic dye, sinapinic and caffeic acid matrices, and several small peptides. For directly desorbed ions, peak widths are generally of the order of 11 to 13 ns, so that mass resolution increases with increasing mass. For peptide ions in the range of 500 to 1000 u, formed by matrix-assisted desorption, peak widths range from 9.5 to 17.6 ns and increase with mass. However, better than unit mass resolution (1600 to 2400) is maintained throughout this mass range. Mass measurement accuracy is better than 0.1 u using a single calibration peak and a prompt start trigger pulse. Prospects for extending mass range and resolution are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-248
Number of pages7
JournalRapid communications in mass spectrometry : RCM
Volume6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1992

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Mass spectrometers
Structural analysis
Desorption
Molecules
Lasers
Ions
Peptides
Coloring Agents
Nitrogen
Calibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

Cite this

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abstract = "A compact laser-desorption time-of-flight mass spectrometer using a 600 ps nitrogen laser and 1 Gsample/s transient recorder is described. The instrument incorporates two electrically-isolatable, reflecting flight tubes designed for subsequent configuration of the mass spectrometer as a tandem instrument. In this first report, we compare mass resolution in the laser-desorption mass spectra of an organic dye, sinapinic and caffeic acid matrices, and several small peptides. For directly desorbed ions, peak widths are generally of the order of 11 to 13 ns, so that mass resolution increases with increasing mass. For peptide ions in the range of 500 to 1000 u, formed by matrix-assisted desorption, peak widths range from 9.5 to 17.6 ns and increase with mass. However, better than unit mass resolution (1600 to 2400) is maintained throughout this mass range. Mass measurement accuracy is better than 0.1 u using a single calibration peak and a prompt start trigger pulse. Prospects for extending mass range and resolution are discussed.",
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