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Tri-Alpha-Napthyl Benzene as a Crystalline or Glassy MALDI Matrix



Barry J. Bauer, Charles M. Guttman, Da-Wei Liu, William R. Blair


Tri-alpha-napthyl benzene (TANB) is used as a matrix in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) spectroscopy. Electrosprayed TANB is crystalline and has a melting point of 180 2 C. A glass of TANB is obtained with a glass transition temperature of 68 2 C with no remaining crystallinity. MALDI samples containing mass fraction 1% polystyrene (PS) are run in both the crystalline and amorphous states. In the crystalline state, there is a strong spectrum typical of PS, but upon melting and quenching to the glassy state, the MALDI signal disappears. If the transparent, amorphous sample is treated with 1-butanol, it becomes white, and the MALDI signal returns. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) shows that the 1-butanol treatment leads to the return of some of the crystallinity. Small angle neutron scattering (SANS) shows that the crystalline state has large aggregations of PS while the amorphous state has molecularly dispersed PS molecules. MALDI gives strong signals only when there are large aggregations of polymer molecules, with individually dispersed molecules producing no signal.


crystallinity, DSC, MALDI, matrix, phase separation, SANS, TANB


Bauer, B. , Guttman, C. , Liu, D. and Blair, W. (2002), Tri-Alpha-Napthyl Benzene as a Crystalline or Glassy MALDI Matrix, Polymer, [online], (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created April 19, 2002, Updated February 19, 2017