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A range of RAMAN spectrometers for the examination of questioned documents

Raman spectra exhibit numerous features that are specific to molecular structure and provide valuable "signatures" for comparing and differentiating materials, making it an ideal technique for examining ink and other materials attached to documents.

  • Raman spectrum in under 1 minute

  • Video imaging with XY translation stage

  • Choice of three laser wavelengths

Foram is available with a choice of three laser wavelengths 785nm, 685nm and 532nm. High levels of sensitivity can be achieved with the 532nm laser, while the 785nm infrared laser is better able to supress fluorescence. A highly stable 685nm red laser provides a third option.

Instruments have an integral video microscope to assist sample selection, a large XYZ translation stage and dedicated software for analysis and database comparison.

You may also wish to view the ffTA system that now includes a multi-wavelength Raman spectrometer

FORAM Applications:

  • Using Raman Spectroscopy to Discriminate Blue Gel Pens: Gel pens are increasingly being used in by the general public in preference to more traditional ball point and liquid ink pens. Gel pens have presented new challenges to document examiners; primarily because many of them are pigment based and cannot be easily extracted for analysis by thin layer chromatography (TLC). It is therefore useful to find other methods of analysis for these pens. There have been several scientific studies published using Raman spectroscopy and other methods to discriminate Gel Pens. Mazella and Buzzini[1] used Raman Spectroscopy at 2 different wavelengths to give a discrimination rate of 68% for pigmented blue gel pens. Zieba-Pulus[2] et al utilized a combined Raman/µXRF instrument to analyze a range of materials of forensic interest including blue Gel Pens. Here we present a brief study applying Raman spectroscopy to discriminate blue gel pens, using 3 different wavelengths of laser excitation; namely 532 nm, 685 nm and 785 nm

  • Using Surface Enhanced Resonance Raman Scattering (SERRS) to Discriminate Inkjet Inks: Due to the ready availability and cheap cost of inkjet printers, printed documents produced by these machines are frequently encountered by forensic document examiners. Conventional techniques such as visible/IR absorption, so useful in ink examination are not as effective in the examination of printed documents produced by inkjet printers. Other techniques such as chromatography involve destruction of a small portion of the document. Littleford et al[4] have used SERRS Spectroscopy to the probe the structural changes of the chromophore present in black inkjet inks, when deposited onto paper. They also give examples of the types of dye that are likely to be found in inkjet inks. Here we present a brief study applying SERRS spectroscopy to the discrimination of black inkjet inks, and determine it potential use in the discrimination of inks produced by different manufacturers.

  •  Using Raman Spectroscopy to Discriminate LaserJet and Photocopy Toners: LaserJet and Photocopy toner are some of the more challenging materials which the document examiner is asked to examine. Conventional techniques such as visible/IR absorption, so useful in ink examination are not applicable to toners. Techniques which are used such as FTIR are either quite destructive to the document or are time consuming and expensive to carry out. Merrill et al[1] comprehensively describe the various FTIR techniques as applied to toners. Here we present a brief study applying Raman spectroscopy to the discrimination of toners. Firstly we attempt to discriminate toner in-situ on the document.

Domain: Forensic