Wednesday, 25 May 2005 - 4:20 PM

This presentation is part of: Applications of Vibrational Spectroscopy in Forensic Science II

Use of Vibrational Spectroscopy to Characterize Counterfeit Banknotes and Postage Stamps

Gene S. Hall, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ

The modern-day counterfeiter has a number of sophisticated tools such as high resolution scanners, high-resolution inkjet and laser printers, and image analysis software to literally “make money”. Therefore, the modern-day spectroscopist has to stay one-step ahead of the counterfeiter to use sophisticated analytical tools to characterize these counterfeit ephemera. With this in mind, our laboratory has been using micro Raman and micro ATR-FTIR to characterize these counterfeit items non-destructively. Our goal has been not only to determine if the banknote or postage is a counterfeit, but to determine the sources of raw materials i.e. paper, inks, and security stripes that were used in the counterfeiting operation. This presentation will cover actual uses of Raman and ATR-FTIR to characterize the inks, paper, and security stripes from counterfeit US and British banknotes and Hawaiian Missionary postal stamps. Creation of Raman and FTIR spectral databases of the raw materials used in counterfeiting and their use in solving the sources of the counterfeiting will also be presented. Raman and FTIR are complimentary vibrational techniques that offer the forensic scientist analytical methods to solve counterfeiting crimes.

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