Time‐of‐flight mass spectrometry of nucleic acids by laser ablation and ionization from a frozen aqueous matrix

Randall W. Nelson, Robert M. Thomas, Peter Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Positive‐ion time‐of‐flight mass spectra of sodium salts of oligodeoxyribonucleic acids (DNA), and a protein, lysozyme, have been obtained using pulsed‐laser ablation and ionization of frozen aqueous solutions from a cooled copper substrate. The efficiency of positive‐ion formation was found to increase when the ablating laser was tuned to a frequency corresponding to resonant electronic transitions in sodium or copper atoms. Molecular ions of double‐stranded oligomeric nucleic acids, with little fragmentation, were observed at masses up to ∼18 500 Da. Single‐stranded nucleic acids could be fragmented by lowering the laser power‐density to reduce the the substrate heating rate. A dimer ion of lysozyme, at mass ∼29 000 Da, was detected at an impact energy on the electron multiplier of only 3.5 keV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-351
Number of pages4
JournalRapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry
Volume4
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Organic Chemistry

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