Amber is a fossil resin constituted of organic polymers derived through complex maturation processes of the original plant resin. A classification of eight samples of amber of different geological age (Miocene to Triassic) and geographical origin is here proposed using direct mass spectrometric techniques, i.e. laser desorption ionization (LDI), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI), in order to obtain a fingerprint related to the amber origin. Differences and similarities were detected among the spectra with the four methods, showing quite complex spectra, full of ionic species in the mass range investigated (up to m/z 2000). The evaluation required statistical analysis involving multivariate techniques. Cluster analysis or principal component analysis (PCA) generally did not show a clear clustering with respect to the age of samples, except for the APPI method, which allowed a satisfying clustering. Using the total ion current (TIC) obtained by the different analytical approaches on equal quantities of the different amber samples and plotted against the age, the only significant correlation appeared to be that involving APPI. To validate the method, four amber samples from Cretaceous of Spain were analyzed. Also in this case a significant correlation with age was found only with APPI data. PCA obtained with TIC values from all the MS methods showed a fair grouping of samples, according to their age. Three main clusters could be detected, belonging to younger, intermediate and older fossil resins, respectively. This MS analysis on crude amber, either solid or extract, followed by appropriate multivariate statistical evaluation, can provide useful information on amber age. The best results are those obtained by APPI, indicating that the quantity of amber soluble components that can be photoionized decreases with increasing age, in agreement with the formation of highly stable, insoluble polymers.

Mass spectrometry in the characterization of ambers. I. Studies of amber samples of different origin and ages by laser desorption ionization, atmospheric pressure chemical ionization and atmospheric pressure photoionization mass spectrometry

RAGAZZI, EUGENIO;ROGHI, GUIDO;
2008

Abstract

Amber is a fossil resin constituted of organic polymers derived through complex maturation processes of the original plant resin. A classification of eight samples of amber of different geological age (Miocene to Triassic) and geographical origin is here proposed using direct mass spectrometric techniques, i.e. laser desorption ionization (LDI), atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and atmospheric pressure photoionization (APPI), in order to obtain a fingerprint related to the amber origin. Differences and similarities were detected among the spectra with the four methods, showing quite complex spectra, full of ionic species in the mass range investigated (up to m/z 2000). The evaluation required statistical analysis involving multivariate techniques. Cluster analysis or principal component analysis (PCA) generally did not show a clear clustering with respect to the age of samples, except for the APPI method, which allowed a satisfying clustering. Using the total ion current (TIC) obtained by the different analytical approaches on equal quantities of the different amber samples and plotted against the age, the only significant correlation appeared to be that involving APPI. To validate the method, four amber samples from Cretaceous of Spain were analyzed. Also in this case a significant correlation with age was found only with APPI data. PCA obtained with TIC values from all the MS methods showed a fair grouping of samples, according to their age. Three main clusters could be detected, belonging to younger, intermediate and older fossil resins, respectively. This MS analysis on crude amber, either solid or extract, followed by appropriate multivariate statistical evaluation, can provide useful information on amber age. The best results are those obtained by APPI, indicating that the quantity of amber soluble components that can be photoionized decreases with increasing age, in agreement with the formation of highly stable, insoluble polymers.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/2269100
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