[en] mass spectrometry ; MALDI ; MELDI ; internal energy ; benzylpyridinium
[en] This work describes a method to use relative fragmentation yields to characterize the internal energy distribution of ions produced by matrix-enhanced laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MELDI-MS, see: Wright LG, Cooks RG, Wood KL. Biomed. Mass Spectrom. 1985; 12:153162). Assuming that the fragmentation proceeds statistically and that the collisions in the source lead to a Boltzmann-like distribution of the internal energy, a characteristic parameter, the effective temperature, is introduced to describe the internal energy distribution of the ions observed. The hypotheses, advantages and drawbacks of the implementation of the method that uses substituted benzylpyridinium salts as thermometer ions are discussed. Use is made of two matrices that produce no matrix cations in MELDI and are suitable for small cationic salts. The actual value of this effective temperature significantly depends on an accurate determination of the threshold dissociation energies and on the time spent in the source, in addition to the statistical hypothesis itself. The method could be applied to normalize spectra in order to compare results issued from different instruments.
Centre Interfacultaire d'Analyse des Résidus en Traces - CART
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS