The main field of research of the laboratory is the development of a method based on the analysis of fluorescent radiation from the object of research. The position of the peaks on the energy scale of the fluorescence spectrum allows determining the presence of certain chemical elements (typical for substances of which is made ink.) The use of X-ray optics, in conjunction with scanning techniques, allows mapping the distribution of chemical elements with high spatial resolution of 10 microns. Such spatial resolution allows reliably visualizing handwritten materials or materials using usual fonts. Furthermore, thanks to such analysis information can be obtained about the chemical composition of these materials, if inks from different manufacturers and brands were used.

By badly damaged records we mean those which lost integrity as a result of a mechanical effect, but also as a result of fading under the influence of solar radiation, and which are unreadable by optical methods. As examples of such records we can mention cashier's checks, whose inks significantly lose brightness over time, damaged archive records, blurred and partly erased signatures. Analysis of damaged records is especially important in criminalistics, since visualization of unreadable records by optical methods can help resolving contentious issues occurring during the investigation or the trial.

The use of confocal x-ray microscopy (MRC) enables us recreating three-dimensional map of the distribution of chemical elements without damaging the object of research, and also enables restoring the internal text in case a substance, an inscription or a pattern were applied on top of it.

The developed method is also applicable in archeology (visualization of damaged drawings and writing) and history. Furthermore, the use of polycapillary optics allows capturing X-ray microbeams, which can be used to study microscopic quantities of a material without destructing it. This is especially important in criminalistics in case very little material evidence is available.

In recent years, fundamentally new results were demonstrated in the study of the elemental composition of objects by X-ray fluorescence using X-ray optical circuits.

Head of Lab – DSc in Law, Professor Valery Kurcheev,

Faculty of Economics NSU
Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences