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Journal Article

Molecular dynamics investigation of desorption and ion separation following picosecond infrared laser (PIRL) ablation of an ionic aqueous protein solution

MPS-Authors
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Robertson,  Wesley
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

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Miller,  R. J. Dwayne
Departments of Chemistry and Physics, University of Toronto, 80 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H6, Canada;
Miller Group, Atomically Resolved Dynamics Department, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Zou, J., Wu, C., Robertson, W., Zhigilei, L. V., & Miller, R. J. D. (2016). Molecular dynamics investigation of desorption and ion separation following picosecond infrared laser (PIRL) ablation of an ionic aqueous protein solution. The Journal of Chemical Physics, 145(20): 204202. doi:10.1063/1.4967164.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-201C-8
Abstract
Molecular dynamics simulations were performed to characterize the ablation process induced by a picosecond infrared laser (PIRL) operating in the regime of desorption by impulsive vibrational excitation (DIVE) of a model peptide (lysozyme)/counter-ion system in aqueous solution. The simulations were performed for ablation under typical experimental conditions found within a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS), that is in vacuum with an applied electric field (E = ± 107 V/m), for up to 2 ns post-ablation and compared to the standard PIRL-DIVE ablation condition (E = 0 V/m). Further, a simulation of ablation under an extreme field condition (E = 1010 V/m) was performed for comparison to extend the effective dynamic range of the effect of the field on charge separation. The results show that the plume dynamics were retained under a typical TOF-MS condition within the first 1 ns of ablation. Efficient desorption was observed with more than 90% of water molecules interacting with lysozyme stripped off within 1 ns post-ablation. The processes of ablation and desolvation of analytes were shown to be independent of the applied electric field and thus decoupled from the ion separation process. Unlike under the extreme field conditions, the electric field inside a typical TOF-MS was shown to modify the ions’ motion over a longer time and in a soft manner with no enhancement to fragmentation observed as compared to the standard PIRL-DIVE. The study indicates that the PIRL-DIVE ablation mechanism could be used as a new, intrinsically versatile, and highly sensitive ion source for quantitative mass spectrometry.