An electrostatic-spray ionization (ESTASI) method has been used for mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of samples deposited in or on an insulating substrate. The ionization is induced by a capacitive coupling between an electrode and the sample. In practice, a metallic electrode is placed close to but not in direct contact with the sample. Upon application of a high voltage pulse to the electrode, an electrostatic charging of the sample occurs leading to a bipolar spray pulse. When the voltage is positive, the bipolar spray pulse consists first of cations and then of anions. This method has been applied to a wide range of geometries to emit ions from samples in a silica capillary, in a disposable pipet tip, in a polymer microchannel, or from samples deposited as droplets on a polymer plate. Fractions from capillary electrophoresis were collected on a polymer plate for ESTASI MS analysis.