RATIONALE In matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS), volatile small molecules have been nearly impossible to analyze because (1) such molecules evaporate under drying and vacuum conditions and (2) the organic matrix creates matrix peaks in the low mass-to-charge (m/z) range (m/z <500). In this work, the analysis of volatile small molecules using MALDI-TOFMS was realized using (1) a parylene-matrix chip to eliminate the matrix peaks of the organic matrix and (2) graphene for the effective adsorption of the small volatile molecules. METHODS The parylene-matrix chip was produced by deposition of a partially porous parylene-N thin film on a dried organic matrix array. The sample solution of volatile small molecules was mixed with the graphene and then placed on the parylene-matrix chip for MALDI-TOFMS. Analogs of chemical agents called dimethyl methyl phosphonate (DMMP) and 2-chloroethylethylsulfide (CEES) were used as model compounds for the small volatile molecules, and the sensing parameters were estimated, such as the limit of detection (LOD) and the detection range. RESULTS MALDI-TOFMS based on the parylene-matrix chip and graphene as the adsorbent could achieve a LOD of approximately 1 ppb in the detection range of 1 ppm - 1 ppb for the highly volatile DMMP and CEES. CONCLUSIONS The parylene-matrix chip with graphene can be applied for the detection of volatile small molecule analytes in the m/z ratio range of small molecules (m/z <500) using graphene as an effective adsorbent.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry