A student using the GC-MS.
A GC-MS mass spectrum obtained for cocaine.

The Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) (Varian GC 431/MS 220 with autosampler) allows us to analyze the components in a mixture and determine what, exactly, they are.  Since these samples need to be volatile (or gaseous), the GC-MS is particularly useful in flavor and fragrance analysis.  

Our GC-MS is used by Analytical Chemistry (CHM 270) students to investigate the trace amount of cocaine found on money.  Students in The Art Conservation of Paintings (Intersession) used the GC-MS to assess the age of various paintings.

The GC-MS was part of a recent art conservation research project in which a student examined the photochemistry of iron gall ink and how it corrodes parchment paper over time.  In addition, GC-MS characterization of biologically relevant compounds synthesized by W&J students appeared in a publication in the Archive of Organic Chemistry.

The GC-MS was purchased with funds from the Davenport Family Foundation.