Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

Laser-induced acoustic desorption/atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometry.

PMID 21472571


Laser-induced acoustic desorption (LIAD) was successfully coupled to a conventional atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) source in a commercial linear quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer (LQIT). Model compounds representing a wide variety of different types, including basic nitrogen and oxygen compounds, aromatic and aliphatic compounds, as well as unsaturated and saturated hydrocarbons, were tested separately and as a mixture. These model compounds were successfully evaporated into the gas phase by using LIAD and then ionized by using APCI with different reagents. From the four APCI reagent systems tested, neat carbon disulfide provided the best results. The mixture of methanol and water produced primarily protonated molecules, as expected. However, only the most basic compounds yielded ions under these conditions. In sharp contrast, using APCI with either neat benzene or neat carbon disulfide as the reagent resulted in the ionization of all the analytes studied to predominantly yield stable molecular ions. Benzene yielded a larger fraction of protonated molecules than carbon disulfide, which is a disadvantage. A similar but minor amount of fragmentation was observed for these two reagents. When the experiment was performed without a liquid reagent (nitrogen gas was the reagent), more fragmentation was observed. Analysis of a known mixture as well as a petroleum cut was also carried out. In summary, the new experiment presented here allows the evaporation of thermally labile compounds, both polar and nonpolar, without dissociation or aggregation, and their ionization to predominantly form stable molecular ions.