Comprehensive analysis of metalloporphyrins via high irradiance laser ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry
High-irradiance laser ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LI-TOFMS), an established technique for elemental determination, has been applied for the analysis of metalloporphyrins. Many porphyrins and their metal complexes, being organometallic compounds, are hard to dissolve in general organic solvents, hampering the wider application of traditional mass spectrometric techniques. With LI-TOFMS, an environmentally friendly analytical strategy has been demonstrated, which is capable of matrix- and solvent-free analysis of metalloporphyrins, with advantages including direct solid sampling, ease of implementation, and avoidance of sample pre-treatment. Moreover, information about elemental composition, fragments, and intact molecules can be obtained simultaneously using LI-TOFMS, hence expediting the identification of metalloporphyrins. A comparative study of LI-, laser desorption ionization (LDI-), matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI-) and electrospray ionization (ESI-) mass spectrometry (MS) has also been conducted.