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Direct Identification of Various Copper Phthalocyanine Pigments in Automotive Paints and Paint Smears by Laser Desorption Ionization Mass Spectrometry

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Direct identification of copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) and chlorinated CuPcs in paints for discrimination between blue automobile paints by means of laser desorption mass spectrometry (LDMS) in the absence of a matrix is reported. The models consisted of eight commercially available CuPc pigments applied to a piece of plain white coating paper. The relationship between the peak intensity at m/z 575 of the CuPc, the number of pulsed laser shots, and laser power was compared to optimize laser abrasion. LDMS analysis of the model paints demonstrated that all characteristic components of the CuPc pigments in the paint films were in good agreement with those in the powder pigments. Further, the chlorinated CuPcs in the paint films could be distinguished. A quantity of 42 blue paint films, representing the paints used for painting Japanese domestic trucks, was examined by LDMS analysis. Results indicate that the paints can be classified into four categories based on the chlorinated CuPc components of the paints. Therefore, LDMS spectra of CuPc pigments would be useful for the identification of paints in forensic investigations. Herein, we report the successful identification of the CuPcs in a paint smear on the frame of a bicycle damaged in a hit-and-run accident, using the LDMS spectra.
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Keywords: automobile paint; chlorinated copper phthalocyanine; copper phthalocyanine; forensic science; laser abrasion; laser desorption mass spectrometry; paint smear

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Criminal Investigation Laboratory of Nara Prefectural Police H.Q., 585 Imaichi-cho, Nara 630-8444, Japan. 2: Department of Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka Prefecture University, 1-1 Gakuen-cho, Naka-ku, Sakai, Osaka 599-8531, Japan. 3: Shimadzu Corporation, 17-1, 3-chome Azuma, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0031, Japan.

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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