As the term comes to the end, I have found myself extremely busy with schoolwork, but am still working hard to fit in time in the lab. Earlier this week, I found some really cool papers in JACS about iron gall ink! One of the papers discussed using a new technique the team was working to develop: Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS). This method is exactly like Tip-Enhanced Microscopy (TEM) but utilizes a laser such that chemical signatures can be analyzed. The paper presented their TERS spectra of iron gall ink purchased from the Art Institute in Chicago. Also, they included NR (Normal Raman) spectra of iron gall ink as well as gallic acid–this spectra is extremely helpful to me as a reference for my own data! I also began recreating my two inks as I have started the fermentation process of gall nuts in water and distilled white vinegar (respectively) again. I plan to take spectra of this solution prior to adding iron (II) sulfate and compare to the inks that have already been fully synthesized. Finally, I took Raman spectra of the iron gall ink I synthesized as well as the raw ingredients (vinegar, gum arabic, and gall nuts)–although I just realized I forgot to take spectra of iron (II) sulfate so I suppose that will be one of my goals for next week! Other goals for next week include taking IR data of the inks below 1000 wavenumber, developing a plan for taking IR of the manuscript, and develop a plan for utilizing my parchment–which we have now!