Development and Application of Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry for Historical Dye Analysis

Edith Sandström, Chiara Vettorazzo, C. Logan Mackay, Lore G. Troalen, Alison N. Hulme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) source was built and attached to a Bruker 7T SolariX FT-ICR-MS for the in situ analysis of 14 early synthetic dyestuffs. Optimization using silk and wool cloths dyed with rhodamine B concluded that when using a commercial electrospray emitter (part number: 0601815, Bruker Daltonik), a nebulizing gas (N2) pressure of 3.9 bar and a sprayer voltage of 4.5 kV (positive ionization mode) or 4.2 kV (negative ionization mode), a solvent system of 3:1 v/v ACN:H2O, and a sprayer incident angle, α, of 35° gave the highest signal-to-noise ratios on both silk and wool for the samples investigated. The system was applied to modern early synthetic dye references on silk and wool as well as historical samples from the 1893 edition of Adolf Lehne’s Tabellarische Übersicht über die künstliche organischen Farbstoffe und ihre Anwendung in Färberei und Zeugdruck [Tabular overview of the synthetic organic dyestuffs and their use in dyeing and printing]. The successful analysis of six chemically different dye families in both negative and positive modes showed the presence of known degradation products and byproducts arising from the original synthetic processes in the historical samples. This study demonstrates the applicability and potential of DESI-MS to the field of historical dye analysis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Early online date1 Mar 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Mar 2023


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    McNab, H. & Hulme, A.

    EU government bodies


    Project: Research

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