Skip to main content
padlock icon - secure page this page is secure

Age Determination of Ballpoint Pen Ink by Thermal Desorption and Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry

Buy Article:

$52.00 + tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract: 

Two main approaches can be used for determining the age of an ink: indirect dating and direct dating. Indirect dating is based on the chemical analysis of an ink followed by comparison with known samples in a reference collection. The collection should contain information about the inks including the market introduction dates. This approach may allow for an anachronism to be detected. The second concept is based on measuring ink components that change with age. The analysis of solvents in ballpoint inks may be a useful parameter for determining the age of ink on paper. In a previous study, the authors demonstrated that thermal desorption of ink directly from paper, followed by chemical analysis using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), is a promising procedure for characterizing ink-binder resins and solvents. Preliminary tests showed that monitoring the evaporation of ink solvent from ink on paper is not a suitable method for ink dating. Thermal analysis of ink on paper in two steps revealed that fresh ink releases a relative amount of solvent at a certain low temperature in a defined period of time, which decreases as the ink ages. As a consequence, this relative amount of solvent released at a certain low temperature, and its decrease with time, can be used to estimate ink age. This age-dependent parameter was studied in 85 different inks ranging in age from 1 week to 1.5 years. It was found that some inks showed a significant decrease of this parameter up to an age of several months, and that the aging process can be monitored within this period. For other inks, however, the age-dependent parameter decreases relatively fast, e.g., within a few days, to a constant level, which can be too fast for casework. Based on these results, a general procedure for assessing the age of ballpoint pen inks on paper was developed.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: age determination; document examination; forensic science; gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; ink; ink dating; questioned documents; resin; thermal desorption; volatiles

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Forensic Sciences, Bavarian State Bureau of Investigation, Munich, Germany.

Publication date: July 1, 2008

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more