Forensic classification of ballpoint pen inks using high performance liquid chromatography and infrared spectroscopy with principal components analysis and linear discriminant analysis

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Journal Article
Vibrational Spectroscopy, 2006, 40 (2), pp. 270 - 277
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Several varieties of blue ballpoint pen inks were analyzed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and infrared spectroscopy (IR). The chromatographic data extracted at four wavelengths (254, 279, 370 and 400 nm) was analyzed individually and at a combination of these wavelengths by the soft independent modeling of class analogies (SIMCA) technique using principal components analysis (PCA) to estimate the separation between the pen samples. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) measured the probability with which an observation could be assigned to a pen class. The best resolution was obtained by HPLC using data from all four wavelengths together, differentiating 96.4% pen pairs successfully using PCA and 97.9% pen samples by LDA. PCA separated 60.7% of the pen pairs and LDA provided a correct classification of 62.5% of the pens analyzed by IR. The results of this study indicate that HPLC coupled with chemometrics provided a better discrimination of ballpoint pen inks compared to IR. The need to develop a suitable IR method for analysing blue ballpoint pen inks has been emphasized and it is hoped that the development of such a method would indeed provide a valuable tool for the non-destructive analysis of blue ballpoint pen ink samples for forensic purposes. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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