High dynamic range bio-molecular ion microscopy with the Timepix Detector
Anal. Chem. , Volume 83 - Issue 20 p. 7888- 7894
Highly parallel, active pixel detectors enable novel detection capabilities for large biomolecules in time-of-flight (TOF) based mass spectrometry imaging (MSI). In this work, a 512 x 512 pixel, bare Timepik assembly combined with chevron microchannel plates (MCP) captures time-resolved images of several m/z species in a single measurement. Mass-resolved ion images from Timepix measurements of peptide and protein standards demonstrate the capability to return both mass-spectral and localization information of biologically relevant analytes from matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) on a commercial ion microscope. The use of a MCP-Timepix assembly delivers an increased dynamic range of several orders of magnitude. The Timepix returns defined mass spectra already at subsaturation MCP gains, which prolongs the MCP lifetime and allows the gain to be optimized for image quality. The Timepix peak resolution is only limited by the resolution of the in-pixel measurement clock. Oligomers of the protein ubiquitin were measured up to 78 kDa.