MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric identification of dyes and pigments

  • L. J. SoltzbergEmail author
  • Amanda Hagar
  • Supicha Kridaratikorn
  • Anne Mattson
  • Richard Newman
Application Note


We have used MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to characterize a selection of dyes from the Schweppe dye collection and pigments from the Tate Gallery collection. MALDI-TOF mass spectra of such samples are easily obtained and, through observation of both positive and negative ion spectra, provide a convenient, versatile method for dye characterization and identification. Such pairs of positive and negative ion spectra immediately distinguish between acidic and basic dyes and provide the characteristic mass of either the molecular ion or a simply related fragment ion. This approach is especially useful in situations where very small amounts of analyte are available, as in museum research and forensic analysis. In the case of textile dyes, we have carried out identification on material from single fibers and, with insoluble pigments, have begun to identify components of historically important pastel sticks from submicrogram samples.


Methyl Violet Museum Arti Fact Mordant Yellow 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© American Society for Mass Spectrometry 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. J. Soltzberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amanda Hagar
    • 1
  • Supicha Kridaratikorn
    • 1
  • Anne Mattson
    • 1
  • Richard Newman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistrySimmons CollegeBostonUSA
  2. 2.Scientific Research LaboratoryBostonUSA

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