The Classification and Age Determination of Ballpoint Pen Inks in Questioned Documents

  • Kim, Nam Yee (Dept. of Chemical Analysis, National Institute of Scientific Investigation) ;
  • Park, Sung Woo (Dept. of Chemical Analysis, National Institute of Scientific Investigation) ;
  • Doble, Philip (Center for Forensic Science, University of Technology) ;
  • Roux, Claude (Center for Forensic Science, University of Technology)
  • Received : 2004.03.09
  • Accepted : 2004.05.21
  • Published : 2004.06.25


The aim of this study was to investigate questioned documents written with blue or black ballpoint pen on paper by nondestructive technique. In this work, 21 blue and 22 black ballpoint pen inks which were purchased on different brands were analyzed by using Microspectrophotometry (MSP). The reflectance spectra were obtained from these ink samples and their shapes and the wavelength of the maximum intensity were compared. In the blue and black ballpoint pen inks, the discriminating powers (DP) were 0.85 and 0.61, respectively. The changes of the reflectance intensity at their wavelength of maximum intensity and their shapes appeared according to the exposure time to sunshine in a laboratory, especially in the blue ballpoint pen inks. Therefore it is possible to distinguish ink entries on the same paper with the relative age in case of questioned letters written with blue ballpoint pen.


Forensic science;Document examination;inks;ageing;MSP


Supported by : Korea Science & Engineering Foundation (KOSEF)


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