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Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Atmospheric pressure MALDI for the noninvasive characterization of carbonaceous ink from Renaissance documents.


PMID 28429066

Abstract

The analytical methods that are usually applied to determine the compositions of inks from ancient manuscripts usually focus on inorganic components, as in the case of iron gall ink. In this work, we describe the use of atmospheric pressure/matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-mass spectrometry (AP/MALDI-MS) as a spatially resolved analytical technique for the study of the organic carbonaceous components of inks used in handwritten parts of ancient books for the first time. Large polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (L-PAH) were identified in situ in the ink of XVII century handwritten documents. We prove that it is possible to apply MALDI-MS as a suitable microdestructive diagnostic tool for analyzing samples in air at atmospheric pressure, thus simplifying investigations of the organic components of artistic and archaeological objects. The interpretation of the experimental MS results was supported by independent Raman spectroscopic investigations. Graphical abstract Atmospheric pressure/MALDI mass spectrometry detects in situ polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in the carbonaceous ink of XVII century manuscripts.

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