Desorption/ionization on silicon nanowires

Anal Chem. 2005 Mar 15;77(6):1641-6. doi: 10.1021/ac048460o.


Dense arrays of single-crystal silicon nanowires (SiNWs) have been used as a platform for laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry of small molecules, peptides, protein digests, and endogenous and xenobiotic metabolites in biofluids. Sensitivity down to the attomole level has been achieved on the nanowire surfaces by optimizing laser energy, surface chemistry, nanowire diameter, length, and growth orientation. An interesting feature of the nanowire surface is that it requires lower laser energy as compared to porous silicon and MALDI to desorb/ionize small molecules, therefore reducing background ion interference. Taking advantage of their high surface area and fluid wicking capabilities, SiNWs were used to perform chromatographic separation followed by mass analysis of the separated molecules providing a unique platform that can integrate separation and mass spectrometric detection on a single surface.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography
  • Silicon
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization / instrumentation*


  • Silicon