History of Mass Spectrometry in Australia and New Zealand
ANZSMS is compiling a history of mass spectrometry in Australia and New Zealand and is seeking contributions from its members and other interested individuals. This will comprise a timeline of significant events and discoveries, together with other recollections and perspectives.
To contribute a timeline event, tribute or recollection please complete and submit the form below. Any comments or corrections to the existing timeline and tributes are welcome as well.
Timeline of significant events
|1922||Then student Ian Wark (later Head of the Division of Industrial Chemistry, CSIRO) writes to Francis Aston in Cambridge seeking advice on building a mass spectrograph to measure ionisation potentials. Aston promptly replies (‘I think a 12″ coil should be ample for your purpose. 20,000 volts should not strain it seriously even with one pole earthed … Wishing you every success, Sincerely F.W. Aston.’)|
|1946||Construction of a 60 degree Nier-type mass spectrometer commences in the Physics Department, University of Melbourne, becoming operational in 1947. This and a subsequent all-metal mass spectrometer completed in 1948 (still in operation in 1971) were used as isotope separators for the production of milligram quantities of lithium, oxygen, neon, magnesium and zinc.|
|1948||Arrival of first commercial mass spectrometer in Australia – a CEC21102 instrument at CSIRO, Melbourne.|
|1950s||Ian Lauder (U. Queensland) and Peter Jeffrey (UWA) construct mass spectrometers for isotope tracer and geological dating experiments.|
|1953||Jim Morrison constructs world’s first mass spectral digitizer consisting of an analog-to-digital converter.|
|1957||Mark Ingram-inspired magnetic mass spectrometer built by Jim Morrison and colleagues in Melbourne.|
|1959||Arrival of commercial Metropolitan Vickers MS-2 instrument at UNSW for use by Jim Green and Jack Garnett.|
|1960||Jim Shannon CSIRO coal research section receives an Atlas CH4 mass spectrometer.|
|1960s||Jim Shannon promotes use of “fish-hook arrows” for homolytic bond cleavages of ions.|
|1962||Second Atlas CH4 mass spectrometer installed at Defence Standards Laboratory in Melbourne.|
|1962||Jim Morrison and Don Swingler construct early quadrupole mass spectrometer at CSIRO, Melbourne.|
|1966||John Bowie initiates studies of organic anions by negative ion mass spectrometry, initially using a Hitachi RMU 7D mass spectrometer.|
|1968||Jim Shannon appointed Australian editor of Organic Mass Spectrometry journal.|
|1968||Thermal ionisation mass spectrometer installed at Waite Institute, now Curtin University of Technology, WA.|
|Late 1960s||Keith Murray acquires Atlas CH4 at CSIRO Food Research section in North Ryde Sydney. Instrument subsequently adapted for GC-MS experiments.|
|1969||Jim Morrison and John Smith construct the first fast scanning laminated magnet for a magnetic-sector GCMS. (Haertel, G.; Morrison, J.D.; Smith, J.F. Int. J. Mass Spectrom. Ion Phys. 5 (1970) 215-222).|
|1970||A community of Australian scientists who were working and were interested in mass spectrometry established a formal society known as the Australian Society for Mass Spectrometry. The society was initially chaired by Barry Batts.|
|1970||Bert Halpern constructs quadrupole mass spectrometer for early biomedical mass spectrometry experiments.|
|1970s||First commercial ICRs arrive in Australia – U. Adelaide, ANU, CSIRO in Melbourne.|
|1971||First meeting of the Australian Society for Mass Spectrometry at Macquarie University (August 23-27). Name changed to Australian & New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry.|
|1971||Don McGilvery and Jim Morrison develop SIMION program for electrostatic potential and charged particle trajectory calculations.|
|1974||Jim Morrison and Don McGilvery construct a triple quadrupole for studying the photodissociation of ions. (McGilvery, D.C.; Morrison, J.D. J. Chem. Phys. 67 (1977) 368-369).|
|1974||John Traeger builds La Trobe University photoionization mass spectrometer. (Traeger, J.C.; McLoughlin, R.G. Int. J. Mass Spectrom. Ion Phys. 27 (1978) 319-333).|
|1976||ETP, manufacturer and developer of electron multipliers, founded in Sydney.|
|1975||Peter Derrick constructs large-scale (1 metre magnetic radius, 8 tonne magnet) reverse geometry sector mass spectrometer at La Trobe University. (Cullis, P.G.; Neumann, G.M.; Rogers, D.E.; Derrick, P.J. Adv. Mass Spectrom. 8B (1980) 1729-1738)|
|1978||First use of a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer for analytical tandem mass spectrometry in Melbourne. (Yost, R.A.; Enke, C.G.; McGilvery, D.C.; Smith, D.L.; Morrison, J.D. Int. J. Mass Spectrom. Ion Phys. 30 (1979) 127-136).|
|1979||GCMS analysis of volatile constituents of Australian honeys. (Graddon, A.D.; Morrison, J.D.; Smith, J.F. J. Agric. Food Chem. 27 (1979) 832-837).|
|1980||Application of computerized GCMS to oil exploration in Australia. (Philp, R.P.; Gilbert, T.D. APEA Journal20 (1980) 221-228).|
|1982||ETP develops replaceable dynode multipliers.|
|1983||GCMS analysis of constitutents associated with off-flavors in crustaceans from Australian coastal waters. (Whitfield, F.B.; Freeman, D.J. Water Sci. Tech. 15 (1983) 85-95).|
|1987||Composition of wax made by the Australian stingless bee Trigona australis. (Milborrow, B.V.; Kennedy, J.M.; Dollin, A. Aust. J. Biol. Sci. 40 (1987) 15-25).|
|1989||GCMS analysis of volatile oils in eucalyptus leaves. (Barton, A.F.M.; Tjandra, J.; Nicholas, P.G. J. Agric. Food Chem. 37 (1989) 1253-1257).|
|1989||Jim Dawson and Michael Guilhaus propose an orthogonal-acceleration time-of-flight mass spectrometer as a new way to couple TOF with continuous ion sources. (Dawson, J.H.J.; Guilhaus, M. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 3 (1989) 155-159).|
|1990||First commercial electrospray mass spectrometer in Australia (Sciex API-III) installed at Bond University.|
|1991||Early tandem TOF/TOF mass spectrometer built at UNSW. (Jardine, D.R.; Alderdice, D.S.; Derrick, P.J. Org. Mass Spectrom. 26 (1991) 915-916).|
|1991||ETP develops air-stable “active film” multiplier technology.|
|1992||Guilhaus and Coles complete construction of first orthogonal-acceleration time-of-flight mass spectrometer at UNSW. (Coles, J.; Guilhaus, M. Trends Anal. Chem. 12 (1993) 203-213).|
|1992||Waldron, Dowsett, and Derrick patent hybrid double-focusing magnetic-sector time-of-flight mass spectrometer).|
|1995||Construction of a pentaquadrupole mass spectrometer capable of performing MS/MS/MS experiments at Monash University. (Thomas, P.D.; Morrison, R,J.S. Proc. ANZSMS15 ThP-07).|
|1996||Guilhaus and Mlynski complete construction of first MALDI orthogonal-acceleration time-of-flight mass spectrometer at UNSW. (Mlynski, V.; Guilhaus, M. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 10 (1996) 1524-1530).|
|1997||Michael Guilhaus receives the Curt Brunnée Award at the 14th International Mass Spectrometry Conference. (Adv. Mass Spectrom. 14 (1997) xxv-xxviii).|
|1998||Don McGilvery shares ASMS Distinguished Contribution in Mass Spectrometry for development and application of SIMION, an algorithm to simulate for electrostatic fields and ion trajectories. (J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. 9 (1998) 657).|
|1998||First record of host defence peptides in tadpoles using mass spectrometry. (Wabnitz, P.A.; Walters, H.; Tyler, M.J.; Wallace, J.C.; Bowie, J.H. J. Peptide Res. 52 (1998) 477-481).|
|1999||Aquatic sex pheromone detected in a male tree frog by mass spectrometry. (Wabnitz, P.A.; Bowie, J.H.; Tyler, M.J.; Wallace, J.C. Nature 401 (1999) 444-445).|
|2000||Special honour issue of the International Journal of Mass Spectrometry for Jim Morrison (Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 194(2/3) (2000)).|
|2000||Guilhaus group demonstrates resolution and sensitivity advantages of parallel wire grids and rectangular repeat cell meshes in orthogonal TOF mass analysers for MALDI and commercial ESI instruments. (Selby, D.; Mlynski, V.; Guilhaus, M. Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 206 (2001) 201-210. Lewin, M.J.; Guilhaus, M.; Wildgoose, J.; Hoyes, J.; Bateman, R. Rapid Commun. Mass Spectrom. 16 (2001) 609-615).|
|2000||Measurement of proton affinities on a pentaquadrupole mass spectrometer by the kinetic method. (Thomas, P.D.; Morrison, R.J.S. Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 194 (2000) 133-143.|
|2001||AMS radiocarbon dating of early human occupation 50,000 years ago in Southwestern Australia. (Turney, C.S.M.; Bird, M.I.; Fifield, L.K.; Roberts, R.G.; Smith, M.; Dortch, C.E.; Grun, R.; Lawson, E.; Ayliffe, L.K.; Miller, G.H.; Dortch, J.; Cresswell, R.G. Quatern. Res. 55 (2001) 3-13).|
|2001||Implementation of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) within the Australian Customs Service for narcotic detection. (Webster, J. Int. J. Ion Mob. Spectrom. 4 (2001) 65-66).|
|2001||Selby, Mlynski and Guilhaus complete construction of compact MALDI reflecting orthogonal-acceleration time-of-flight mass spectrometer at UNSW. (Selby, D.S.; Mlynski, V.; Guilhaus, M. Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 210/211 (2001) 89-100).|
|2003||Special honour issue of the Australian Journal of Chemistry for John Bowie (Aust. J. Chem.56(5) (2003)).|
|2006||John H. Bowie receives a Thomson Gold Medal from the International Mass Spectrometry Foundation recognising “his considerable contributions to fundamental organic mass spectrometry, particularly those involving the study of negative ions”.|
Tributes and Recollections
University of Western Australia
|Stable Isotope Studies in W.A.
Jeffery, P.M. The Australian Physicist (1976) 28-30.
University of Wollongong
|Berthold Halpern – 1923-1980
Danks, D.; Duffield, A.; Sargeson, A. Historical Records of Australian Science 5 (1983) 73-82.
La Trobe University
|Jim Morrison – Mass Spectrometrist for All Seasons
McLafferty, F.W. Org. Mass Spectrom. 26 (1991) 181-182.
Personal Reminiscences of Forty Years of Mass Spectrometry in Australia
Morrison, J.D. Org. Mass Spectrom. 26 (1991) 183-194.
Jim Morrison Festschrift
Traeger, J.C. Int. J. Mass Spectrom. 194 (2000) vi-vii.
Derrick, P.J.; Lacey, M.J.; Macdonald, C.G. Org. Mass Spectrom. 27 (1992) 979-984.
Jim Shannon at Coal Research
Sternhell, S. Org. Mass Spectrom. 27 (1992) 985-986.
Early Shannon Mass Spectrometry
McLafferty, F.W. Org. Mass Spectrom. 27 (1992) 987.
J. S. Shannon – an Appreciation
Maccoll, A. Org. Mass Spectrom. 27 (1992) 989-990.
|John de Laeter
|The Oldest Rocks: The Western Australian Connection
De Laeter, J.R.; Trendall, A.F. J. Roy. Soc. West. Aust. 85 (2002) 153-160.
University of Adelaide
|John Hamilton Bowie: An Appreciation
O’Hair, R.A.J. Aust. J. Chem. 56 (2003) 343-348.
University of Melbourne
|The Australian and New Zealand Society for Mass Spectrometry Conference – a Tradition of Over Thirty Years.
O’Hair, R.A.J. Eur. J. Mass Spectrom. 9 (2003) 525-529.
University of Sydney
John de Laeter
|A History of Mass Spectrometry in Australia
Downard, K.M.; De Laeter, J.R. J. Mass Spectrom. 40 (2005) 1123-1139.
Australian Wine Research Institute
|Contributions of Mass Spectrometry in the AWRI to Wine Science
Hayasaka, Y.; Baldock, G.A.; Pollnitz, A.P. Aust. J. Grape Wine Research 11 (2005) 188-204.
Reproduced with permission from the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology.
University of Sydney
|Cavendish’s Crocodile and Dark Horse: The Lives of Rutherford and Aston in Parallel
Downard, K.M. Mass Spectrom. Rev. 26 (2007) 713-723.