Laser mass spectrometry: an overview of techniques, instruments and applications

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81 Scopus citations


Lasers have been used to produce intact molecular ions and structurally informative fragment ions of otherwise intractable biomolecules for examination by mass spectrometry. While laser microprobes have been used for this purpose, this paper focusses on other instrumental configurations, which require less focussed laser beams and which record ions that are produced by mechanisms which can be described thermodynamically. The time-of-flight and Fourier-transform ion-cyclotron resonance mass spectrometers emerge as the most suitable for use with pulsed laser desorption. Classes of compounds which are amenable to the technique include industrial polymers and carbohydrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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