Significant Parameters in the Optimization of MALDI-TOF-MS

Stephanie J. Wetzel, Charles M. Guttman, Kathleen M. Flynn

Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

James J. Filliben

Statistical Engineering Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD


One of the most significant issues in any analytical technique is optimization. Optimization and calibration are key factors in quantitation. In matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), one of the limitations restricting quantitation is instrument optimization. Understanding which parameters are most influential and the effects of these parameters on the mass spectrum is required for optimization. This understanding is especially important when characterizing synthetic polymers by MALDI-TOF-MS, due to the complex nature of synthetic polymers. Several instrument parameters were studied using an orthogonal experimental design to understand effects on the signal-to-noise of a polystyrene distribution. The parameters examined included; laser energy, detector voltage, is/2 voltage, lens voltage and delay time. Other factors considered were polymer concentration and matrix. Detector voltage and delay time were the most influential of the instrument parameters for polystyrene.

Author Information:

Stephanie Wetzel
Polymers Division
Bldg. 224, Rm. B328
Mail Stop 8541

Poster Topic: Chemistry