Characterization of Blue Pigments Used in Automotive Paints by Raman Spectroscopy*

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Micro-Raman spectroscopy was applied to forensic identification of pigments in paint chips and provided differentiation between paint samples. Sixty-six blue automotive paint samples, 26 solid and 40 metallic were examined. It was found that the majority of the collected Raman spectra provided information about the pigments present. However, in some cases, fluorescence precluded pigment identification. Using laser excitation at longer wavelengths or pretreatment to effect photobleaching often resulted in reduced fluorescence, particularly for solid color samples, and allowed pigment identification. The examined samples were compared pairwise taking into account number, location, and intensity of absorption bands in their infrared spectra. The estimated discrimination power ranged from 97% for solid paint samples to 99% for metallic paint samples.

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