August 7, 2006, Peabody, Mass. -- A new technical paper describes the use of direct analysis in real time (AccuTOF-DART™) mass spectrometry for writing ink analysis performed for forensic applications.
Analysis of writing inks to authenticate documents is described in the Journal of Forensic Science, July 2006, Vol. 51, No. 4, pages 915-918 in “Differentiating Writing Inks Using Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry.” Authored by Drs. Roger Jones and John McClelland of the Institute for Physical Research and Technology, Iowa State University, and Dr. Robert Cody of JEOL USA, Inc., the paper describes methods for rapid, non-invasive, in situ analysis of forty-three writing inks on paper without visible alteration of the documents.
Identification of inks provides information that is helpful in identifying whether a document is real or fraudulent. In contrast with traditional mass spectrometric methods of ink analysis that require removal of material from the document, DART™ analysis can be carried out on the intact document. In addition, the DART technique characterizes inks by detecting dyes as well as additives and carriers, providing more complete information about the ink composition than techniques that detect only dyes. The article shows that individual ink compositions produce “fingerprint” DART mass spectra that can be rapidly identified by searching against a user-generated library database.
DART is a patented, unique ion source offered by JEOL USA for its AccuTOF time-of-flight mass spectrometers to enable direct detection of chemicals on surfaces, in liquids, and in gases without altering the sample state. DART is unique in that samples are analyzed in open air, using no radioactive components, solvent sprays, exposed high voltage, or vacuum.
Since its introduction, DART has gained wide acceptance for forensics, pharmaceuticals, and homeland security applications. The DART was selected by R&D Magazine as one of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace in 2005. In addition to the R&D 100 Award, the DART won the 2005 Pittcon Editors’ Gold Award.