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See detailRaman spectroscopy and laser desorption mass spectrometry for minimal destructive forensic analysis of black and color inkjet printed documents
Heudt, Laetitia ULg; Debois, Delphine ULg; Zimmerman, Tyler ULg et al

in Forensic Science International (2012), 219

Inkjet ink analysis is the best way to discriminate between printed documents, or even though more difficult, to connect an inkjet printed document with a brand or model of printers. Raman spectroscopy ... [more ▼]

Inkjet ink analysis is the best way to discriminate between printed documents, or even though more difficult, to connect an inkjet printed document with a brand or model of printers. Raman spectroscopy and laser desorption mass spectrometry (LDMS) have been demonstrated as powerful tools for dyes and pigments analysis, which are ink components. The aim of this work is to evaluate the aforementioned techniques for inkjet inks analysis in terms of discriminating power, information quality, and nondestructive capability. So, we investigated 10 different inkjet ink cartridges (primary colors and black), 7 from the HP manufacturer and one each from Epson, Canon and Lexmark. This paper demonstrates the capabilities of three methods: Raman spectroscopy, LDMS and MALDI-MS. Raman spectroscopy, as it is preferable to try the nondestructive approach first, is successfully adapted to the analysis of color printed documents in most cases. For analysis of color inkjet inks by LDMS, we show that a MALDI matrix (9- aminoacridine, 9AA) is needed to desorb and to ionize dyes from most inkjet inks (except Epson inks). Therefore, a method was developed to apply the 9AA MALDI matrix directly onto the piece of paper while avoiding analyte spreading. The obtained mass spectra are very discriminating and lead to information about ink additives and paper compositions. Discrimination of black inkjet printed documents is more difficult because of the common use of carbon black as the principal pigment. We show for the first time the possibility to discriminate between two black-printed documents coming from different, as well as from the same, manufacturers. Mass spectra recorded from black inks in positive ion mode LDMS detect polyethylene glycol polymers which have characteristic mass distributions and end groups. Moreover, software has been developed for rapid and objective comparison of the low mass range of these positive mode LDMS spectra which have characteristic unknown peaks. [less ▲]

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