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. Data from two approaches to using TOF MS for accurately identifying the molecular formula of dyes are reported. One involves extraction of dye from 100 mu g or less of fiber followed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC-TOF MS) analysis. The other is 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.
Advancing the Forensic Analysis of Dyed Fibers by Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry