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Issue 5, 2007
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Forensic analysis of inks by imaging desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) mass spectrometry

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Abstract

Desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) is employed in the forensic analysis of documents. Blue ballpoint pen inks applied to ordinary writing paper are examined under ambient conditions without any prior sample preparation. When coupled to an automated moving stage, two-dimensional molecular images are generated. Proof-of-principle experiments include characterization of a simulated forged number and examination of older written records. This application of DESI has advantages over extractive techniques in terms of speed and sample preservation. The effects of the desorbing solvent composition, in this case a mixture of methanol and water, and of flow rate, are evaluated. Results suggest that the solubility of the analyte (dyes Basic Blue 7, Basic Violet 3 and Solvent Blue 26) plays an important role in desorption from the paper surface.

Graphical abstract: Forensic analysis of inks by imaging desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) mass spectrometry

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Article information


Submitted
08 Jan 2007
Accepted
12 Mar 2007
First published
30 Mar 2007

Analyst, 2007,132, 461-467
Article type
Paper

Forensic analysis of inks by imaging desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) mass spectrometry

D. R. Ifa, L. M. Gumaelius, L. S. Eberlin, N. E. Manicke and R. G. Cooks, Analyst, 2007, 132, 461
DOI: 10.1039/B700236J

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