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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2003 Aug;376(8):1265-71. Epub 2003 May 9.

Trace elemental analysis of automotive paints by laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS).

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Florida International University, University Park, Miami, FL 33199, USA.


Paints and coatings are frequently encountered as types of materials that are submitted to forensic science laboratories as a result of trace evidence transfers. The aim of this study was to develop a method to complement the commonly used techniques in a forensic laboratory in order to better characterize these samples for forensic purposes. A laser ablation method has been used to simultaneously sample several layers directly prior to introduction into an inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer for the detection and quantification of the trace metals present in the layer(s). Time-resolved analysis plots displaying the elemental response and quantification of selected metals are compared to associate/discriminate paint samples. Matrix-matched standards were successfully incorporated into the analysis scheme for quantification of lead in the solid paint samples. Preparation of new matrix-matched standards for quantification of additional elements developed for this study are also presented. A sample set of eighteen (18) survey automotive paint samples have been analyzed with the developed method in order to determine the utility of LA-ICP-MS for trace element analysis of paints.

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