Miniaturized time-of-flight mass spectrometer for peptide and oligonucleotide analysis

Robert J. Cotter, Charles Fancher, Timothy J. Cornish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


A matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer was developed which uses a novel reflectron composed of a grounded cylinder and an adjustable endcap electrode to provide high-order kinetic energy focusing for a miniaturized mass analyzer. The nearly quadratic potential form of the reflecting field focuses ions desorbed from a source of very small dimensions formed by placing the sample probe within the centered hole of the coaxial dual channel plate detector. At the same time, the depth of the reflectron can be adjusted to accommodate a short drift length between the source/detector and the reflectron. For larger drift lengths, in particular to allow the addition of an XY stage for the analysis of sample arrays, endcap reflectron focusing can be combined with time-delayed ion extraction to achieve good mass resolution. The instrument has been used for the analysis of peptides digested with trypsin or carboxypeptidase, and also small DNA oligomers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1368-1372
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1999


  • Amino acid sequencing
  • Field-portable
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Reflectron
  • Time-of-flight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy


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