Since laser desorption mass spectrometry (LDMS) has been used successfully to analyze colorants of forensic interest in a variety of materials, the current article presents and interprets the most complex of such spectra obtained to date from a sample of fingernail polish.
When analytes containing color are irradiated with a pulsed UV laser in the ion source of a mass spectrometer, molecules such as dyes or pigments absorb energy, resulting in their desorption and ionization. This method, laser desorption mass spectrometry (LDMS), has been used successfully to analyze colorants of forensic interest in a wide variety of materials. In the current study, Interpretation of the spectrum provided a unique opportunity to characterize the laser desorption mass spectra of some unexpected inorganic materials found in cosmetics, such as “broken glass”, cyanide compounds, and heavy metals. Also, the possibility of a useful forensic database of LDMS spectra of fingernail polishes was considered. (publisher abstract modified)
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