Forensic Analysis of Ink on Documents Using Direct Analyte-Probed Nanoextraction Coupled Techniques

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Analzying questioned documents in a nondestructive nature has been an issue for the forensic science community. Using nondestructive techniques such as video spectral comparator does not give reliable information due to the variations in gray or color levels that are distinguished differently by analysts. Destructive techniques such as chromatography give dependable, qualitative and quantitative, information but involves altering the evidentiary value of these questioned documents. The paradox of document examination becomes a problem when document evidence is involved, especially when trying to preserve its evidentiary value and critical data is needed. Thus, a nondestructive technique has been developed to solve ... continued below

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Huynh, Vivian May 2016.

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  • Huynh, Vivian

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Analzying questioned documents in a nondestructive nature has been an issue for the forensic science community. Using nondestructive techniques such as video spectral comparator does not give reliable information due to the variations in gray or color levels that are distinguished differently by analysts. Destructive techniques such as chromatography give dependable, qualitative and quantitative, information but involves altering the evidentiary value of these questioned documents. The paradox of document examination becomes a problem when document evidence is involved, especially when trying to preserve its evidentiary value and critical data is needed. Thus, a nondestructive technique has been developed to solve the loopholes in document examinations.
Direct analyte-probed nanoextraction (DAPNe) is a nanomanipulation technique that extracts ink directly off the document for further examination. A watermark is left, at most, post-extraction. DAPNe utilizes a tip emitter, pre-filled with a solvent, which is controlled in x-, y-, and z-coordinates via joystick controller and aspirates/extracts using a pressure injector. The versatility of this technique lies within the solvent chemistry and its capability to be coupled to various types of instrumentation. The extraction solvent can be altered to target specific components in the ink. For example, a chelator may be added to target metal ions found in ancient inks or methanol may be added to target certain organic resins and binding agents found in modern inks. In this study, DAPNe has been coupled to nanospray ionization mass spectrometry, fluorescence microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry, and laser ablation to solve questioned document concerns in the area of falsified or forged documents, redacted documents, and aging studies.

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  • May 2016

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  • June 28, 2016, 4:28 p.m.

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  • July 25, 2016, 12:28 p.m.

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Huynh, Vivian. Forensic Analysis of Ink on Documents Using Direct Analyte-Probed Nanoextraction Coupled Techniques, dissertation, May 2016; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc849635/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .