Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization

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. It is most similar in character to electrospray ionization both in relative softness and the ions produced (although it causes much fewer multiply charged ions).
The ionization is triggered by a laser beam (normally a nitrogen laser). A matrix is used to protect the biomolecule from being destroyed by direct laser beam and to facilitate vaporization and ionization.

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