Silver coating for high-mass-accuracy imaging mass spectrometry of fingerprints on nanostructured silicon

Taryn M. Guinan, Ove J. R. Gustafsson, Gordon McPhee, Hilton Kobus, Nicolas H. Voelcker

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Nanostructure imaging mass spectrometry (NIMS) using porous silicon (pSi) is a key technique for molecular imaging of exogenous and endogenous low molecular weight compounds from fingerprints. However, high-mass-accuracy NIMS can be difficult to achieve as time-of-flight (ToF) mass analyzers, which dominate the field, cannot sufficiently compensate for shifts in measured m/z values. Here, we show internal recalibration using a thin layer of silver (Ag) sputter-coated onto functionalized pSi substrates. NIMS peaks for several previously reported fingerprint components were selected and mass accuracy was compared to theoretical values. Mass accuracy was improved by more than an order of magnitude in several cases. This straightforward method should form part of the standard guidelines for NIMS studies for spatial characterization of small molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11195-11202
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

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