Irradiation effects in MALDI, ablation, ion production, and surface modifications. Part II: 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid monocrystals


Irradiation effects at low and high laser fluence on 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid large crystals were investigated. Contrary to what was observed for matrices as cinnamic acid derivatives, no chemical degradation of matrix is evidenced and continuous ablation as well as ion production resulted of extended irradiation in all the fluence range corresponding to classical matrix-assisted laser desorption /ionization. Ripples are formed on the base of the crater for a limited number of laser shots under moderate fluence. For extended irradiation, conical shape craters are formed with the axis of the crater oriented along the incident direction of the laser beam. A study of the craters showed that ablation through the ablated volume slowly varied with the laser fluence when a strong increase of ion production (matrix and analyte) was recorded. Ablation volume was found to vary non-linearly with the number of laser shots. On a same spot, the ablated volume and the ion production were measured as a function of the laser energy. With an increasing laser energy (or fluence), the ablated volume slowly increases when the ion production strongly increases. This gives evidence of a decoupling between ablation and ionization. Interaction of the plume with the incoming beam is thus probable.

Published online June 25, 2003