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Surface Layer Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometry Imaging: A Surface Imaging Technique for the Molecular-Level Analysis of Synthetic Material Surfaces

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journal contribution
posted on 22.10.2018, 00:00 by Kevin J. Endres, Jacob A. Hill, Kuan Lu, Mark D. Foster, Chrys Wesdemiotis
Surface layer matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry imaging (SL-MALDI-MSI) is a powerful new surface sensitive imaging technique to establish surface component localization of multicomponent polymer materials. This study demonstrates the ability of SL-MALDI-MSI to image defects from foreign materials, material absence, mechanical scribing, and solvent perturbation at the surface of low-molecular-weight poly­(methyl methacrylate) and polystyrene thin films. The surface specificity of the SL-MALDI-MSI technique is validated by imaging polystyrene on poly­(methyl methacrylate) bilayer films; only polystyrene ions are detected from the surface of the unperturbed polystyrene layer. A key process enabling SL-MALDI-MSI is the solvent-free sublimation of matrix and salt uniformly on the sample’s surface.

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