The possibility of using copper(I) chloride as a doping salt to enhance the cationization of polystyrene in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) was investigated. It was shown that copper(I) chloride possesses sufficient solubility in tetrahydrofuran. The parameters of the MALDI mass spectra of different polystyrene samples, such as the number-average (Mn) and mass-average (Mw) molecular mass values, obtained by copper(I) cationization were compared with those obtained by means of silver(I) cationization, and good agreement was found. It was also shown that application of copper(I) chloride as a doping salt, and dithranol as a matrix, ensured good MALDI mass spectra of the sample spots even after storage for 1 month. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.