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Discrimination of seal inks used for seals by confocal Raman microscopy

R. Chen (Department of Municipal and Environmental Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China)
J. Lv (Procuratoral Technology and Information Research Center, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Beijing, China)
J. Feng (Procuratoral Technology and Information Research Center, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Beijing, China)
Y. Liu (Procuratoral Technology and Information Research Center, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, Beijing, China)
W. Zhang (Key Laboratory for Applied Microbiology of Shandong Province, Biology Institute of Shandong Academy of Sciences, Jinan, China)

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 3 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce an effective method to discriminate seal inks with Raman microscopy.

Design/methodology/approach

Raman spectra could effectively avoid interference from the paper and give extra peak information in the inks discrimination and identification. Thus, a Renishaw invia confocal Raman microscope system was employed for ink analysis in this study. A total of 12 representative seal ink samples, widely used in seven Chinese provinces, were investigated using the latest model of Renishaw Raman microscope.

Findings

Four types of inks were identified and discriminated successfully. Popular pigments such as Pigment Scarlet Powder, Pigment Yellow 55, phthalocyanine blue, Bronze red C and PbCrO3 were all identified in these seal ink samples. The indicative peaks to identify and discriminate the inks were also summarised and tentatively interpreted.

Research limitations/implications

More ink samples were needed to establish a useful library. Many other pigments used in inks were still unknown.

Practical implications

This method was proved to be fast, accurate and non-destructive, and it could be more easily applied in real cases than Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

Originality/value

This method can help scientists discriminate some inks, which can hardly be discriminated by other techniques. The results are useful for the ink analysis and discrimination in forensic (document examination and file source identification), polymer and pigment fields.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was financially supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (No. 2013JBM064) and “Beijing Higher Education Young Elite Teacher Project, YETP0561”

Citation

Chen, R., Lv, J., Feng, J., Liu, Y. and Zhang, W. (2014), "Discrimination of seal inks used for seals by confocal Raman microscopy", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 389-393. https://doi.org/10.1108/PRT-10-2013-0096

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited