In this article, the capability of encoding information using a homologous series of monodisperse monomethoxypolyethylene glycols (mPEG), with a number of ethylene oxide units ranging from nEO
= 5 to 8, and monodisperse linear aliphatic isocyanates containing a number of CH2
units from 3 to 7, is demonstrated. The “click” reaction of the two corresponding homologous series yielded 20 different isocyanate end-capped polyethylene glycol derivatives (mPEG-OCONHR) whose sodiated adduct ion’s nominal m
values spanned from 360 to 548, providing an average ca. 8 m
unit for the storage of one-bit information. These mPEG-OCONHR oligomers were then used to encode information in binary sequences using a 384-well MALDI sample plate and employing the common dried-droplet sample preparation method capable of encoding 20 bit, i.e., 2.5 byte information in one spot, was employed. The information stored in the spots was read by MALDI-TOF MS using the m
value of the corresponding mPEG-OCONHR oligomers. The capability of the method to store data was demonstrated by writing and reading a text file, visualizing a small picture and capturing a short audio file written in Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) sequence. Due to the very large similarities in the chemical structures of the encoding oligomers and their “easy to be ionized” property, as well as their very similar ionization efficiencies, the MALDI-TOF MS signal intensities from each compound was so strong and unambiguous that complete decoding could be performed in each case. In addition, the set of the proposed encoding oligomers can be further extended to attain higher bit “densities”.
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