Campus Units

Chemistry, Ames Laboratory

Document Type


Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Journal of Mass Spectrometry

First Page





Recent research has focused on increasing the evidentiary value of latent fingerprints through chemical analysis. While researchers have optimized the use of organic and metal matrices for matrix‐assisted laser desorption/ionization ‐ mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI‐MSI) of latent fingerprints, the use of development powders as matrices has not been fully investigated. Carbon forensic powder (CFP), a common non‐porous development technique, was shown to be an efficient one‐step matrix; however, a high‐resolution mass spectrometer was required in the low mass range due to carbon clusters. Titanium oxide (TiO2) is another commonly used development powder, especially for dark non‐porous surfaces. Here, forensic TiO2 powder is utilized as a single‐step development and matrix technique for chemical imaging of latent fingerprints without the requirement of a high‐resolution mass spectrometer.

All studied compounds were successfully detected when TiO2 was used as the matrix in positive mode, although generally the overall ion signals were lower than the previously studied CFP. TiO2 provided quality MS images of endogenous and exogenous latent fingerprint compounds. The subsequent addition of traditional matrices on top of the TiO2 powder was ineffective for universal detection of latent fingerprint compounds. Forensic TiO2 development powder works as an efficient single‐step development and matrix technique for MALDI‐MSI analysis of latent fingerprints in positive mode and does not require a high‐resolution mass spectrometer for analysis.


This is the peer-reviewed version of the following article: Hinners, Paige, and Young Jin Lee. "Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Latent Fingerprints Using Titanium Oxide Development Powder as an Existing Matrix." Journal of Mass Spectrometry: e4631, which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1002/jms.4631. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

John Wiley & Sons Ltd



File Format


Available for download on Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Published Version