Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) usually employs highly crystalline small-molecule matrices, and the analyte is interpreted as being co-crystallized with the matrix. We recently showed that semi-crystalline polymers are efficient matrices for the detection of low-molecular-weight compounds (LMWCs) in MALDI MS and MALDI MS Imaging, and are dual-mode, i. e., enabling both positive and negative modes. The matrix performances of two fluorene/napthalene diimide co-polymers P(TNDIT-Fl(C4C2)) and P(TNDIT-Fl(C10C8)) were investigated and compared. Both are fully amorphous according to XRD measurements, show high relative absorption values at the wavelength of common MALDI lasers (λNd:YAG=355 nm: C4C2=73 %; C10C8=67 %), and are solution processable. As matrices, they are dual-mode, and enable the detection of LMWCs while being mostly MALDI-silent. Compared with semicrystalline polymer matrices, the amorphous matrices give similar or better signal intensities, thus indicating that analyte inclusion takes place in the amorphous part of the polymer matrix.
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