Industrial Consultancy & Sponsored Research (IC&SR) , IIT Madras

Technology Category/ Market

Categories: Chemistry & Chemical Analysis, Advance Material & Manufacturing

Applications: Calibrating Mass Spectrometers, Biological and Chemical Research, Proteomics, Ion Mobility Calibration, Molecular Structure Analysis, Metabolomics, Research, Development & Quality Control, Environmental Analysis, Drug Discovery

Industry: Pharmaceutical Industry, Chemical Industry, Forensic & Materials Science, Healthcare

Market: The global nanomaterials market was valued at $16.3 B in 2021, and is projected to reach $62.8 B by 2031, growing at 14.6% CAGR from 2021 to 2031.

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Problem Statement

  • Mass Spectrometry (MS) is vital for identifying and characterizing molecules.
  • MS is crucial in materials science for high-mass molecule characterization. Challenges exist in ionizing molecules in negative ion mode, especially for high-mass compounds.
  • Lack of proper standards in negative ion mode hampers signal quality, peak shape, & intensity. Standards are needed in biology for sample understanding and instrument calibration.
  • Positive ion standards are available for bigger proteins and peptides. Few negative ion standards are available beyond m/z 3000. High concentrations of cesium-based salts are required for traditional calibration methods.

The present patent introduces atomically precise clusters as calibration standards for negative ion mass spectrometry.


The present patent introduces a Monolayer Protected Noble Metal Clusters as Standards for Negative Ion Mass Spectrometry.

It discloses a method for calibrating mass spectrometer in the negative ion mode and in the high mass range, the said method comprises:

  • Dissolving atomically precise monolayer protected metal cluster in a solvent, that is dicholoromethane (DCM) or dimethylformamide (DMF);
  • Serial dilution of the dissolved metal cluster to achieve 1 µg/mL cluster concentration;
  • Directly infusing 1 µg/mL of cluster concentration to a MS instrument with a flow rate of 10 µL/min
  • wherein, 1 μg/mL conc. of monolayer protected metal cluster calibrates a wide spectral of mass range of 1-100 kDa with maximum signal to noise ratio.

Key Features/ Value Proposition

  • The clusters are selected from atomically precise noble metals of gold, silver, platinum, palladium, iridium, copper or their alloys with precise composition.
  • The atomically precise metal clusters [Ag29(S2R)12]3-, [Ag25(SR)18]- and [Au25(SR)18]- are [Ag29(BDT)12]3-, [Ag25(DMBT)18]and [Au25(PET)18] respectively.
  • The metal clusters calibrates ion mobility mass spectrometry (IMS) in negative ion mode for high mass range up to m/z 10.
  • The metal cluster monomers and higher aggregates are used to calibrate collision cross sections (CCSs) for negative ions of higher mass.
  • Similar monolayer protected metal clusters are used for calibrating in positive ion mode either in presence or absence of ionization enhancers.
  • The metal clusters are fragmented to well defined daughter ions by tandem mass spectrometry to calibrate the mass spectrometer in MS/MS mode.

Questions about this Technology?

Contact for Licensing

Research Lab

Prof. Pradeep T

Department of Chemistry

Intellectual Property

  • IITM IDF Ref. 1732

  • Patent No: 350803

Technology Readiness Level


 Proof of Concept & validated in Lab

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