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Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI)

Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI) is a soft ionization technique used in mass spectrometry, allowing the analysis of biomolecules (biopolymers such as proteins, peptides and sugars) and large organic molecules (such as polymers, dendrimers and other macromolecules), which tend to be fragile and fragment when ionized by more conventional ionization methods.

The spectometry component of the analysis is frequently combined with a position-tag based imaging component, allowing chemical map images to be produced, giving chemical resolution information on the resolution scale of around 1 micron.

cogsHow does it work?

The ionization is triggered by a laser beam (normally a nitrogen laser). A matrix is used to protect the bio-molecule from being destroyed by direct laser beam and to facilitate vaporization and ionization.


Analysis of peptides and proteins, synthetic polymers, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides, lipids, inorganics

Sample Handling Requirements:

Nanograms of a solid crystallised molecule of the sample

Complementary Techniques:

SEM, XRD, TEM, EF-TEM, LC-MS, GC-MS, Confocal Microscopy

Warwick Capability:

 Waters Synapt G2


Claire Gerard: c dot gerard at warwick dot ac dot uk / 07385 145064

MALDI equipment

Typical results format, and sample:

MALDI result i

MALDI result ii

green_tick.gif Warwick collect/analyse data
green_tick.gif Warwick collect data
 green_tick.gif Available to user with expertise/ contribution
 green_tick.gif Spare capacity for collaborative research