Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is shown to provide high discriminating power for the identification of textile dyes that can not be reliably distinguished on the basis of their UV/visible absorption profile. Seven pairs of commercial dyes having nearly identical UV/visible absorption profiles and absorption maxima within 5 nm, were identified successfully by LC-MS. Two pairs of cotton fibers, which were indistinguishable by microspectrophotometry, were differentiated by LC-MS. A single wavelength UV/visible detector was used to monitoring dye elution from the column. The utility of the method for comparing questioned and known fibers is discussed.
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