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Advancing the Forensic Analysis of Dyed Fibers by Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry

NCJ Number
Date Published
8 pages

This article reports data from two approaches to using time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF MS) for accurately identifying the molecular formula of dyes.


Dyed fibers are commonly obtained as trace evidence at crime scenes. Time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOF MS) has potential to substantially advance forensic dyed fiber analysis by providing “exact mass” data of dyes and other chemicals present in dyed fibers. One of the approaches in using TOF MS involved extraction of dye from 100 üg or less of fiber followed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-TOF MS) analysis. The other approach was time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometric (TOF SIMS) analysis of the surface and cross sections of dyed fibers without extraction. Both approaches can clearly identify commercially important dyes applied to polyester fibers. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2016