What is soft ionization?
Subsequently, one may also ask, what is the difference between hard and soft ionization?
Ionization occurs in the ion source. The most common example of hard ionization is electron ionization (EI). Soft ionization refers to the processes which impart little residual energy onto the subject molecule and as such result in little fragmentation.
One may also ask, is maldi considered a soft or a hard ionization technique? MALDI, or Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization, is an analytical technique used for soft ionization (ionization without fragmentation) of particles for use in mass spec- trometry, especially biopolymers or other macromolecules that are difficult to ionize with- out fragmentation.
Similarly one may ask, what is hard ionization?
The electron beam ejects an ion from the gas phase molecule producing a radical ion. This technique is considered a hard ionization technique, because it causes the ion to fragment.
Why is ionisation important in mass spectrometry?
Because a mass spectrometer works by moving the particles it's examining with electric and magnetic fields. If a particle is not ionised then it has zero charge and it's mass to charge ratio is identical to all other uncharged particles - so you cannot determine its mass.