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The Discrimination Potential of Ultraviolet-Visible Spectrophotometry, Thin Layer Chromatography, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy for the Forensic Analysis of Black and Blue Ballpoint Inks

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Abstract: 

The knowledge of the discriminating power of analytical techniques used for the differentiation of writing inks can be useful when interpreting results. Ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS) spectrophotometry, thin layer chromatography (TLC), and diffuse reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) were used to examine a population of 21 black and 12 blue ballpoint writing inks. Based on corroborative results of these methods, the discrimination power for UV-VIS, TLC, and FT-IR was determined to be 100% and 98% for the black and blue inks, respectively. Generally, TLC and UV-VIS can be used to differentiate the colorant components (i.e., dyes and some pigments) found in inks. As FT-IR can be utilized to identify some of the noncolorant components, it was determined to be an excellent complementary technique that can be implemented into an analytical scheme for ink analysis.
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Keywords: Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy; forensic science; inks; questioned documents; thin layer chromatography; ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche dell’Università, via Marzolo 1, 35131 Padova, Italy. 2: Reparto Carabinieri Investigazioni Scientifiche, S.S. 114 Km. 6,400 – 98128 Tremestieri, Messina, Italy. 3: Dipartimento Farmaco Chimico Facoltà di Farmacia dell’Università, viale Annunziata, 98123 Messina, Italy.

Publication date: 2008-11-01

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