Ionic liquids as matrixes for matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry

Anal Chem. 2001 Aug 1;73(15):3679-86. doi: 10.1021/ac010259f.


Room-temperature ionic liquids are useful as solvents for organic synthesis, electrochemical studies, and separations. We wished to examine whether their high solubalizing power, negligible vapor pressure, and broad liquid temperature range are advantageous if they are used as matrixes for UV-MALDI. Several different ionic matrixes were synthesized and tested, using peptides, proteins, and poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG-2000). All ionic liquids tested have excellent solubilizing properties and vacuum stability compared to other commonly used liquid and solid matrixes. However, they varied widely in their ability to produce analyte gas-phase ions. Certain ionic matrixes, however, produce homogeneous solutions of greater vacuum stability, higher ion peak intensity, and equivalent or lower detection limits than currently used solid matrixes. Clearly, ionic liquids and their more amorphous solid analogues merit further investigation as MALDI matrixes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoproteins / analysis
  • Bradykinin / analysis*
  • Coumaric Acids / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / analysis*
  • Myoglobin / analysis
  • Polyethylene Glycols / analysis
  • Solvents
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization*


  • Apoproteins
  • Coumaric Acids
  • Insulin
  • Myoglobin
  • Solvents
  • apomyoglobin
  • alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • sinapinic acid
  • Bradykinin