Novel galvanic nanostructures of Ag and Pd for efficient laser desorption/ionization of low molecular weight compounds

A simple approach for synthesis of palladium and silver nanostructures with readily adjustable morphologies was developed using galvanic electrochemical deposition, for application to surface-assisted laser desorption/ionization (SALDI) of small biological molecules. A range of fatty acids, triglycerides, carbohydrates, and antibiotics were investigated to assess the performance of the new materials. Intense analyte cations were generated from the galvanic surfaces upon UV laser irradiation such as potassium adducts for a film thickness <100 nm (originating from impurities of the electrolyte solution) and Pd and Ag cluster ions for films with a thickness >120 nm. Possible laser desorption/ionization mechanisms of these galvanic structures are discussed. The films exhibited self-organizing abilities and adjustable morphologies by changing electrochemical parameters. They did not require any stabilizing agents and were inexpensive and very easy to produce. SALDI analysis showed that the materials were stable under ambient conditions and analytical results with excellent measurement reproducibility and detection sensitivity similar to MALDI were obtained. Finally, we applied the galvanic surfaces to fast screening of natural oils with minimum sample preparation.