Posted by: tvasailor | September 19, 2020

Mass Spec Training from David Sparkman

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David Sparkman has trained many in the “art” of mass spectrometry. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and an independent contractor for NIST and Wiley.

Courses and Books

Mass Spec Training Courses

Introduction to Mass Spectrometry: Instrumentation, Applications, and Strategies for Data Interpretation

Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry: A Practical Guide

Mass Spectrometry Desk Reference

Posted by: tvasailor | September 11, 2020

Wiley/NIST Webinar YouTube Channel

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My YouTubes:

I have recorded my own personal versions of the 5-part Wiley webinar series for using NIST software with Wiley and NIST libraries.

Part I: Spectral Searches with NIST MS Search
Part II: Structure Searches with MS Search and Using MS Interpre
Part III: AMDIS (NIST) for Processing EI Mass Spectral Data Files

Part IV: Advanced NIST Hybrid Search of EI and MS/MS Spectra
Part V: Creating and Sharing User EI and MS/MS Libraries

Higher Quality Videos Pt. I-V Zipped

This allowed me to more easily change between different applications while demonstrating the software. In addition, the NIST windows are of higher quality created with my Zoom application versus Wiley’s WorkCast approach.

Original Wiley Videos:

Webinars recorded by Wiley

YouTube Videos from Others:

Agilent DRS -AMDIS/NIST Search/Customer Reports
Importing Shimadzu GC/MS Data into AMDIS and NIST
Accessing NIST Library Search in Agilent GC-MSD

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Posted by: tvasailor | August 20, 2020

Most Current User Manuals for NIST Search and AMDIS

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nist-amdis picI try to keep the most current manuals for AMDIS and NIST MS Search as they are updated.  Sometimes they could appear here before actually updated on NIST site.  Makes it convenient for keeping my links in presentations current.  See the links below:



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I presented a 5-part Wiley Webinar Series in August-September, 2020.  The series demonstrates the effective use of NIST software such as MS Search, MS Interpreter, and AMDIS with the Wiley, NIST, and user-created libraries.  The following links are for either my personal YouTube or Wiley recordings:

My Personal YouTube Recordings of Parts I-V

Detailed Handouts including tables of content are shown below:

Part I: Spectral Searches with NIST MS Search-12-27-20
Part II: Structure Searches with NIST Search and MS Interpreter-12-27-20
Part III:  AMDIS (NIST) for Processing EI Mass Spectral Data Files 12-27-20

Part IV: Advanced NIST Hybrid Search of EI and MS/MS Spectra-12-27-20
Part V: Creating and Sharing User EI and MS/MS Libraries-12-27-20

Handouts_Pt. 1-Pt. V-zipped_12-27-20

Other Webinar Resources:

Buy a copy! Distributors of NIST Libraries
DeltaMass Table for Hybrid Search in EI-9-21-20-(422 entries)
Importing Mass Spectra to NIST Search Program
NIST Pipeline Program for Adding New Spectra
NIST Tutorials and Settings for AMDIS-10-15-20
LC-MS/MS Identification of Unknowns with NIST Search

Importance of Library Searches in the Chemical Industry
Example Files for Part III AMDIS Webinar
Example Spectra/Structures in Library Format Parts I-V
Wiley Library User Manual with Spectral Source Codes
NIST Free Downloads of Software/Libraries/Tools-9-29-20
AMDIS and NIST Search User Manuals-9-7-20
NIST MS at ASMS 2020
Description of NIST2020 Software and Library Release by David Sparkman
MS Interpretation Training by David Sparkman

Wiley, NIST, and user-created mass spectral libraries are very powerful tools for the identification of organic compounds in complex mixtures by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS).  This series of seminars will demonstrate the use of the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) software suite for searching these EI libraries.  The software includes MS Search, MS Interpreter, and AMDIS plus ChemSketch for structural drawing. The series should be useful to a wide variety of research and developmental scientists involved in medical, environmental, industrial, forensic, and biological disciplines.

Hybrid Search Resources from Others:

Gary Mallard from NIST a “real-world” example of a fentanyl-related compound from his work.

Hybrid EI Fentanyl Example

Arun Moorthy and Gary Mallard also presented an excellent workshop showing applications of the hybrid search in forensic applications.  The PDF file used in the seminar are shown below.  One will have to register on the website to see the video.

Hybrid vs. Similar Search Slides in PDF:  Identifying Seized Drugs Using Mass Spectral Library Searching
Hybrid vs. Similar Search Webinar:  Identifying Seized Drugs Using Mass Spectral Library Searching

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Posted by: tvasailor | June 29, 2020

Holder 20 For Sale

[Sold to Sailor at Concord Yacht Club, 7/1/2020 in Knoxville, TN]

I had planned on using this boat as my main sailboat for racing.  However, I found another Holder 20.  Thus I would like to sell this one for a very good price.  I am not trying to recoup all my expenses.


Nevertheless, the boat is in very good racing shape and would only some part of the deck painted and slightly sanded.

I have included some pictures and bills for some but not all of the work at the following link:

Pictures of Boat and Some Bills
Note:  Used Slideshow mode in Shutterfly for easy viewing


-long cockpit Holder 20 (much better than short cone for racing!)
-new Genesis Sobstad Lightwave main new ($1,293.00)
-new Genesis  Sobstad Lightwave Headsail new ($1,038.00)
-jib by Slo new
-zippered Sobstad bags for sail storage
-spinnaker bag to hang down below to launch spinnaker from cockpit
-three winches on top of cabin, two in cockpit
-cockpit tent
-new halyards and main sheet
-new hardware blocks for traveler
-epoxy racing bottom by Waters $2,555.00-
-hardware exit plates in mast for internal halyards, deck organizer plate and associated blocks on mast step, deck blocks, spinnaker crane, etc. by Todd Weir $1423.00
-deck reinforced by Todd Weir in mass step area
-stern of boat stiffened on the inside by Todd Weir
-spinnaker with quick disconnect for sheets
-tapered spinnaker sheets with quick disconnects
-twing lines with attached snatch blocks
-through deck twing lines exiting to fairleads/cam cleats in cockpit for easy access and no deck clutter
-trailer with spare tire and poles for guiding boat onto trailer
-backstay flicker on top of mast
-ratchet blocks on stern for spinnaker


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I had the opportunity to present at the ASMS Workshop:  “Compound Identification by Mass Spectral Searching, June 3, 2020.  Unfortunately, there were serious problems with my connection and I was unable to present the information.

Here is a link if you are interested.

ASMS Workshop Presentation



Posted by: tvasailor | February 8, 2019

Bridge Game Links

I have had a really good time playing duplicate bridge with many different people in Kingsport, Abingdon, and Johnson City.

The clubs often offer basic “learn to play (free)” courses led by Jan Bruce and Vivian McIntire.  During the recent “Corona Virus” break, the Abingdon Bridge Club has been hosting  “intermediate” bridge lesson series via Zoom that include all the conventions to facilitate an effective 2 over 1 approach to bridge bidding.

see the Abingdon Facebook site

The internet is also a great “bridge teacher.”

I wanted to share some links that I have found very useful for learning to bid and play.

For standard bridge, the following “cheat” sheet summarizes all basic rules:

Basic Bridge Bidding

The New York City Learn Bridge has great more advanced bidding protocols and tactics for playing hands.

I really like YouTube videos!

New York City Learn Bridge

Phillip Holland does great YouTubes demonstrating bidding and playing hands:

Australian Phillip Holland WebSite

Here is an example of one of his YouTube Videos:

Phillip Holland YouTube Example

Posted by: tvasailor | September 15, 2018

Tesla Cars

I had read the biography of Elon Musk, and decided I couldn’t afford a ride on Space-X.   Therefore, the only logical decision was to instead buy a used Tesla.

I bought a 2014 certified preowned Model S85 in July 2018.  Tried to keep price to minimum by not selecting one with a panoramic roof, air-suspension, and dual wheel drive.

Used Tesla Site

The only problem that I have encountered is that I can’t wipe that silly grin off my face everytime I drive it!  The smooth, quick acceleration is addictive.

Added some information about the car in the following PDF that I put together for a local car show at Allandale.

Model S Tesla Information

Nikola Model S

I added a personalized tag as a result of a gift a colleague gave me when I retired from Eastman.  The following is a snapshot of my Facebook post:


Posted by: tvasailor | August 3, 2015

Useful Tips for 1D and 2D NMR Experiments

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I have primarily done mass spectrometry during my career, but also utilize NMR data in conjunction with mass spectrometry data to identify components.  Often even relatively complex mixtures can be characterized by 1D and 2D NMR data utilizing complimentary information obtained by either LC-MS or GC-MS analyses.

Laura Adduci shared with me a very useful NMR presentation of tips, tricks, and techniques.  Laura currently works in our NMR laboratory at Eastman Chemical Co., but prepared the presentation while attending UNC-Chapel Hill.

NMR at UNC:  Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

We also utilize both carbon and proton NMR for quantitative analyses.  It is a very powerful approach because standards are not required to calibrate the instrument response.  All that is required is that the component or components of interest be correctly identified.  I have included three links below that I have found very useful for quantitative NMR analyses:

Practical Guide for Quantitative 1D NMR Integration

Practical Aspects of Quantitative NMR Experiments 

Quantitative 1H NMR

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Posted by: tvasailor | March 17, 2015

Archives of Old Articles and Mass Spec Documentation

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ASMS History Site:  The American Society for Mass Spectrometry has a great site managed by ASMS member/archivist, Michael Grayson.

ASMS History Site

CHF HIstory Site:   Also, great information at the Chemical Heritage Foundation site.

CHF History Site

BMSS History Site:  A new history site for the British Mass Spectrometry Society site.

BMSS History Site

Historical Documents from My Archives:  I found many mass spec artifacts when cleaning out my office in anticipation of retirement in early 2016.  My wife warned me their wasn’t unlimited room in our house or on our sailboat for lots of things.  Thus, I began to sort through and discard things in my office at Eastman and post ones of general interest on my website.

Finnigan Corporation:  A lot of my early career was greatly influenced by GC-MS software (INCOS) and hardware (chemical ionization) from the Finnigan Corporation.  Thus, many of the items on this archive page originated from Finnigan.

I was love stricken in my first encounter with our Finnigan 4000 series instrument and my love affair continued with the TSQ, DSQ, and ISQ instruments.  But possibly the first love was the best.  The Finnigan 4000 was a phenomenal piece of technology, software and hardware, for her time.  We routinely ran the instrument 24/7 using automated acquisition and automated data processing for both qualitative and quantitative analyses.


I found several an article about Robert E. Finnigan on the internet that I found interesting:

Robert Finnigan long inverview

Finnigan Cookbook, 1979:  This is the Finnigan Cookbook given to me by Bill Tindall, a retiree from Eastman Chemical Company.  It had the following documentation on the front page:

“Marcie got the recipe and passed it to Mark Weiss of Finnigan-INCOS.  Mark Weiss compiled it into his now famous cookbook using what is now considered the first word process software which was written by Joel at INCOS.  The cookbook was printed from the Stanford computer Christmas day in 1979, copied at Finnigan during the dark of night and distributed to its contributors who were acknowledged only by their street names.  For all that its not a bad recipe.”

I made only a few changes when scanning the document.  I did character recognition and added title pages between sections because the handwritten ones could not be scanned.

Finnigan Spectra Vol 6 No 1 (1976):  I always enjoyed the early Finnigan Newsletters.  This newsletter contained the following very useful article which we utilized the work of Hunt on our Finnigan 4000/4500 in 1979 in the analyses of photographic chemicals for Kodak:

-Selective Reagents for Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry, Don Hunt, University of Virginia
-Application of Gas Chromatography-Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry to the Analysis of Microquantities of Choline and Its Esters, Israel Hanin, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Finnigan Spectra Vol 2 No 1 1972:  Another old Finnigan Newsletter containing articles with articles by M. S. Story and R. E. Finnigan and other things.

Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry, E. J. Bonelli, M. S. Story
Analysis of a Kraft Paper Mill Effluent by Electron Impact and Chemical Ionization GC/MS, J. B. Knight, E. J. Bonelli, and R. E. Finnigan
GC/MS of Chlorinated Dioxins, E. J. Bonelli
Dateline:  Finnigan acquires Quanta/Metrix

Finnigan Spectra Vol 12 No 1, Spring 1989:  A collection of early LC-MS articles in a Finnigan magazine.

Letter to the Reader, Richard M. Caprioli
Continuous Flow Fab, Richard M. Caprioli
Capillary Zone Electrophoresis/Mass Spectrometry:  An Alternative to LC/MS?, Richard D. Smith, Charles J. Barinaga, and Harold R Udsetb
Supercritical Fluid Chromatogrpahy/Mass SPectrometry (SFC/MS), D. E. Games, A. J. Berry, S. Y. Hughes, S. Mahatheeranont, I. C. Mylchrest, J. R. Perkins, E. D. Ramsey, and S. Pleasance
Thermospray LC/MS:  Effect of Experimental Parameters on Spectra and Sensitivity, Patrick J. Rudewicz
Perspectives on the Moving Belt LC/MS Interface, J. van der Greef, W. M. A. Niessen, and U. R. Tjaden

Finnigan Spectra Vol 9 No 1 Spring 1983:  Another collection of early LC-MS articles, listed Finnigan thermospray interface.  The Thermospray interface is the first useful interface utilized at Eastman Chemical Company.  We utilized the Vestec interface on our Finnigan 4000/4500 GC-MS.  We tried a moving belt interface on a contract instrument in Boston, but we were not impressed, and thus, never purchased one.

Introduction, D. E. Games, guest editor
Combined Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS), D. E. Games
The Moving Belt as an Interface for HPLC/MS-P. Vouros, B. L. Karger
First Steps in LC/MS with Simple Interfaces for the Finnigan MAT 44-N. Evans
Experiments with the Coupling of a Jasco Micro LC to a Finnigan MAT 3300 Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer, A. P. Bruins, B. F. H Drenth
Thermospray LC/MS:  Supplement of Substitute for Existing Techniques, W. H. McFadden

Finnigan Application Report Number AR8020, 1979?:  We found negative ion LC-MS to be really useful for Thermospray and later electrospray analyses.  We did some negative ion GC-MS, but not as universally useful.  Here is an early report on negative ion MS from Finnigan:

Biomedical Applications of Negative Ion Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry, John R. B. Slayback and M. N. Kan, Finnigan Corporation

Finnigan Application Report No 47, 1982?:  We did a lot of direct chemical ionization on both our Finnigan 4000/4500, Finnigan 700/7000, and even our Autospec.  Worked reasonably well before the days of electrospray.  We normally would isolate compounds by preparative TLC or flash chromatography.

DCI-Direct Chemical Ionization or Desorption Chemical Ionization, A Powerful Soft Ionization Technique in Mass Spectrometry, U. Rapp, G. Meyerhoff, and G. Dielmann

Finnigan Technical Report No TR8027:  I loved my first GC-MS instrument, a Finnigan 4000 and its associated Data General computer, analytical-digital interface, jet separator, chemical ionization source, oscillope for tuning, library search software, etc.  Here is the information needed to optimizie the INCOS data system.

Optimization of Acquisition Parameters for the INCOS Data System, Rhilip L. Warren, John R. B. Slayback, Carl R. Phillips

Finnigan TSQ70-We had a Finnigan TSQ-70 and two SSQ-70’s.  We really enjoyed all three instruments doing a lot of chemical ionization work, Vestec thermospray interface, Vestec particle bean interface, fast atom bombardment interface, and direct chemical ionization.  Here is a picture that Steve Lammert shared with me recently.  It is of the  TSQ 70 development team photo ca. 1985.


Direct Liquid Introduction (DLI) LC-MS Interface, 1984:  Jack Henion came to our lab to install the DLI interface.  He was a consultant for Kodak in Rochester.  Many people referred to it as “Pray and Spray” because always plugging.  Here is some documentation and data I retained even the parts listing for the various laser drilled holes.  We only used a very short time before transitioning to the Thermospray interface.

Vestec Particle Beam Interface Brochure:  We used this for several years in both EI and CI modes on our Finnigan TSQ-700.  It actually worked well, but the sensitivity was very poor compared to current electrospray interfaces.  Nevertheless, one could get good EI spectra for library searching and addition to our computer searchable Eastman Corporate Database.

Additional Particle Beam Information:  I have included some additional data on the Vestec interface, the Hewlett-Packard demo, the Extrel Thermabeam interface, and the Particle Beam/FAB interface custom-built by Marvin Vestal for our VG-70 MS,  etc.

Kodak Laboratory Chemicals Bulletin Vol 55, No 3, 1984:  When I was in graduate school in the late 70’s, we ordered specialty chemicals from Kodak.  They supplied many in that era, but nothing to compare to the large list of chemicals from Aldrich.  Here is a bulleting talking about “The Chemistry of the Diketene-Acetone Adduct” by Robert J. Clemens, CAS No. 5394-63-8, 2,2,6-trimethyl-4H-1,3-dioxin-4-one.

MS9 Design Lectures, AEI, Associated Electrical Industries Limited:  I think we had a MS9 in the Kodak Rochester laboratories.  We did have a CEC 21-110B mass spectroemeter in Research at Eastman Chemical.  We used the instrument at Eastman to characterize TLC fractions, prepared samples, and even components trapped off a GC/TCD system.  Thus the beginnings of GC-MS!

Finnigan 1015 GC-MS:  We had one of these systems at Eastman.  Bob Finnigan would always ask me about it every year when I attended ASMS in the mid 80’s.  The picture below was from the Heritage article written by David C. Brock.

finnigan 1015 picture

INCOS 50:  We had one of these systems.  It always looked to me as if someone had made the manifold for the system produced from a “glass sewer pipe.”  Probably the best part of the instrument was the INCOS library search software:

S. Sokolow, J. Karnofsky, P. Gustafson, The Finnigan Library Search Program, Finnigan Application Report 2, San Jose, CA (1978).

A good friend of mine supplied me a copy of the report.

Here is a link to an ACS advertisement for the instrument featuring Bob Finnigan.

incos 50

British Mass Spectrometry History:  One of my wife’s British relatives, Winifred Hall, was a early scientist in mass spectrometry at Shell.  When we went to visit her, she introduced me to several people in the mass spectrometry industry including Robert Craig.  Robert was an early founder of VG.

This was actually before my career in mass spectrometrist at Eastman Kodak.  At the time, I was attending the University of Georgia as a graduate student in chemistry, but our school did not have a working mass spectrometer.  It had been “hit” by lightening and no one knew how to repair the beast!

I found a lot of history of the British mass spectrometry community on the British Mass Spectrometry website that is very interesting.

Mike Morris – 50 years of British MS

BMSS 50th poster by ASMS

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