Easy ambient sonic-spray ionization mass spectrometry combined with thin-layer chromatography

Renato Haddad, Humberto M S Milagre, Rodrigo Ramos Catharino, Marcos N Eberlin
Analytical Chemistry 2008 April 15, 80 (8): 2744-50
On-spot detection and analyte characterization on thin-layer chromatography (TLC) plates is performed via ambient desorption/ionization and (tandem) mass spectrometry detection, that is, via easy ambient sonic spray ionization mass spectrometry (EASI-MS). As proof-of-principle cases, mixtures of semipolar nitrogenated compounds as well as pharmaceutical drugs and vegetable oils have been tested. The technique has also been applied to monitor a chemical reaction of synthetic importance. EASI is the simplest and gentlest ambient ionization technique currently available, assisted solely by N2 (or air). It uses no voltages, no electrical discharges; no UV or laser beams, and no high temperature and is most easily implemented in all API mass spectrometers. TLC is also the simplest, fastest, and most easily performed chromatographic technique. TLC plus EASI-MS therefore provide a simple and advantageous combination of chromatographic separation and sensitive detection of the TLC spots as well as on-spot MS or MS/MS characterization. The favorable characteristics of TLC-EASI-MS indicate advantageous applications in several areas such as drug and oil analysis, phytochemistry and synthetic chemistry, forensics via reliable counterfeit detection, and quality control.

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