Surface assisted laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry on patterned nanoporous silica thin films

A. M. Dattelbaum, R. K. Hicks, J. Shelley, A. T. Koppisch, S. Iyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


We describe the preparation and use of patterned nanocomposite silica thin films deposited on silicon for laser desorption-ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) without the use of conventional matrices. Ordered nanocomposite silica thin films deposited on silicon substrates were prepared by evaporation induced self-assembly using Brij56 as the surfactant template. The films were then exposed to masked deep-UV light to selectively remove the template to yield isolated regions of ordered nanoporous silica in a field of nanostructured silica. The nanoporous regions act as isolated "wells" that allow for the mass spectral characterization of analytes by laser induced desorption-ionization MS using a commercial MALDI-TOF instrument. We demonstrate the utility of these patterned films for the mass spectral analysis of small organic molecules, such as amino acids, peptides and siderophores. No consistent background signal from the films was observed at laser intensities typically used to desorb/ionize analytes. We also show that the films remain active for over a year when stored at ambient laboratory conditions. Because these patterned nanocomposite films are straightforward to produce, readily modifiable and stable at ambient laboratory conditions, they provide a potentially useful alternative to currently available films and substrates for matrix-free LDI-MS analysis of small molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalMicroporous and Mesoporous Materials
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2008



  • LDI-MS
  • Matrix-free
  • Mesoporous
  • Nanocomposite
  • Patterned

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials

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