Volume 38, Issue 1 (January 1993)
Application of the Microdroplet Method of X-Ray Analysis to the Characterization of Inks
This study was undertaken to investigate the application of the microdroplet method of x-ray analysis to the characterization of inks. A methodology to allow the microdroplet method to be applied to ink analysis was designed. Ethylene glycol was the preferred solvent for droplet formation. Pyridine was added to this solvent to improve ink extraction capabilities, and could then be removed selectively by vacuum evaporation. Microdroplets were delivered to a thin film support through the use of a nebuliser. Thin films of celloidin were supported on copper specimen grids which were in turn held on a specially designed carbon holder.
A number of different inks were examined using both a previously described method and the newly designed microdroplet technique. Examination of 17 inks from ballpoint pens commonly available in Australia showed that no detectable elements were present that could be used for characterization. This result was in contrast to earlier work by Harada in Japan. Four fountain pen inks were also examined and it was found that all of these inks contained detectable elements that could be used for characterization.