Over this past week, I continued the work on my ink synthesis. First, I took the original three inks I made with no gum arabic (DI water, Rain water, white vinegar)–I have yet to do this process with the 1:1 HAc: H2O ink, although I’m not sure it’s necessary–and broke each of them up into four smaller vials. The first of each set of four remained a control (ink with no gum arabic). The other three vials (9 in total) received equal amounts of gum arabic. I plan to show through this study that the ink synthesis is repeatable. We should see that the three vials of each type of ink (with gum arabic) are the same for a particular solvent and that their spectra do not differ. Furthermore, I began my characterization process of the inks. Unfortunately, the IR spectrometer was disassembled this week and, as such, I will not be able to do that characterization until tomorrow at the earliest. I was able, however, to take UV-Vis data with the inks. At first, this was tricky because the inks over-absorb and you don’t get anything from the spectra. To solve this problem, I put a single drop of ink into the cuvette and filled the rest with DI water to dilute the solution as much as possible. Finally, I was able to get meaningful UV-Vis data and we see exactly what we expected; because the ink is black, it is absorbing over the full visible spectrum from 400-700nm. Throughout the rest of the week and next week, I plan to finish my characterization using IR and Raman spectroscopy, as well as order my parchment because I was finally able to get in touch with the parchment company and get some of my questions about their process answered!