Mass spectrometry provides molecular-level information about a broad range of paint constituents present in modern paint systems used by artists. A wide choice of instruments and ionization methods is available to identifi all the main classes of modern binding media, to analyze molecular weight distribution of polymers, to characterize synthetic pigments and coloring substances, to characterize some classes of additives, and to determine oxidized compounds developing in oil paints. Relevant examples of direct temperature resolved mass spectrometry (DTMS), laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS), matrix assisted laser desorptionlionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS), electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), and imaging SIMS (secondary ion mass spectrometry) applied to research questions on paint composition are presented.

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Getty Conservation Institute
T. Learner

Boon, J. J., Hoogland, F. G., & van der Horst, J. (2007). Mass spectrometry of modern paints. In T. Learner (Ed.), Modern paints uncovered : proceedings from the modern paints uncovered symposium organized by the Getty Conservation Institute, Tate, and the National Gallery of Art, Tate Modern, London, May 16-19, 2006 (pp. 85–95).