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unequivocal methods of questioned document analysis are essential in forensic
science. Here, a desorption/ionization technique, EASI-MS, was assessed for its
ability to investigate questioned driver’s licenses (DL). Two suspects DL,
displaying the same personal data in the proper fields (name and ID numbers),
but with different individual photos, showing similar impressions on
microscopic analysis, and authentic standards documents specimens were used as
test cases. Profiles from authentic DL surface were dominated by a set of few minor
ions, mainly from the plasticizers bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate and
dibutylphthalate. The seized suspect counterfeit DL on points from personal
data and photo were, however, dominated by abundant diagnostic ions of m/z 463, 507, 551, 595, 639, 683, which confirmed counterfeiting. Surfynol® and Nonoxynol-9®, which are common constituents of inkjet printing,
were detected in the counterfeiting areas by high-accuracy EASI(+)-FT-ICR MS.
The EASI-MS technique is shown therefore to offer an attractive tool for
forensic investigation of questioned documents.