Improved resolution for a miniaturized instrument is demonstrated at high masses using a pulsed extraction, 3″ linear time-of-flight (TOF) mass analyzer. This illustrates the utility of a small and simple mass spectrometer for biological/medical analyses. Current and future applications suggested by this instrument include rapid mass spectral reading of oligonucleotides that differ in one base (single nucleotide polymorphisms), distinction of biomarker signatures from different species of bacterial spores (biological weapons detection) and point-of-care instruments for proteomics-based diagnostics. We have incorporated a two-stage, pulsed-extraction design that places the focal plane of the ions at the detector channel plate surface. The ions are accelerated to a total energy of 12 keV to enable detection of high-mass proteins in a design that incorporates a floatable flight tube set at the voltage of the front channel plate of the detector. The resultant elimination of post-acceleration at the detector is intended to improve mass resolution by reducing the difference in arrival times between ions and their neutral products. Resolutions of one part in 1200 at m/z 4500 and one part in 600 at m/z 12 000 have been achieved. Proteins with molecular masses up to 66 000 Da, mixtures of oligonucleotides, and biological spores have all been successfully measured, results that increase the potential use of this TOF analyzer.
- Mass spectrometry
- Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)
- TOF analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas