Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

John Lombardi

Second Advisor

Thomas Kubic

Third Advisor

Barbara Zajc


TLC, Forensic ink, Fountain Pen, Fountain Pen Ink, UV-Vis, ATR-FTIR


Pen ink can be a crucial piece of physical evidence in the area of Forensic Science. For example, evidence such as notes, letters, printed documents, checks, currency, ransom notes, and books may contain ink. Analysis of ink is typically done for identification or differentiation purposes. To improve existing methods, it was proposed to create a database with many samples and experimental information. The methods used and evaluated were thin-layer chromatography (TLC) enhanced with RGB spot evaluation, UV-Vis spectroscopy, and ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. All three methods were used to analyze 89 fountain pen ink samples. All three methods were able to discriminate between the majority of the ink samples. However, some samples were still similar and difficult to differentiate with a single method. Using more than one method proved advantageous in discriminating more samples.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.