The forensic analysis of office paper using carbon isotope ratio mass spectrometry-Part 2: Method development, validation and sample handling

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Journal Article
Forensic Science International, 2013, 231 (1-3), pp. 364 - 374
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This paper describes the development and validation of a method for the analysis of office papers by measuring carbon isotopes using isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). The method development phase included testing protocols for storage, sample materials, set-up of the analytical run; and examining the effects of other paper examination procedures on IRMS results. A method validation was performed so that the Deltaplus XP IRMS instrument (Thermo Finnigan, Bremen, Germany) with Flash EA™ 1112 could be used to measure document paper samples for forensic casework. A validation protocol that would meet international standards for laboratory accreditation (international standard ISO 17025) was structured so that the instruments performance characteristics could be observed. All performance characteristics measured were found to be within an acceptable range and an expanded measurement uncertainty for the measurement of carbon isotopes in paper was calculated at 0.26‰, with a coverage factor of 2. This method was utilized in a large-scale study, published as part one of this series, that showed that IRMS of document papers is useful as a chemical comparison technique for 80gsm white office papers. © 2013.
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