Mumbai: Scientists at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Central Forensic Laboratory have developed new forensic techniques which could be used in detecting a forgery.

'Laser Induced  Breakdown Spectroscopy' (LIBS) for rapid identification of different types of papers, and 'Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry' (TXRF)for characterization of ink samples have been developed by the scientists of Fuel Chemistry Division and analytical chemistry Division of  BARC, and Neutron Activation division of Central Forensic Lab, Hyderabad.

LIBS helps instant classification of different types of paper materials, said Head of Fuel Chemistry division of BARC, Dr Suresh K Aggarwal.

The currently-used Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) is very time-consuming, he said talking to a news agency. 

The new technique allows near-99 per cent reliable identification of almost all the analyzed papers, Aggarwal said.

"The goal was to examine the probability of instant identification of confidential documents, by comparison with a spectral library generated using LIBS," he said.

This "library" consisted of representative spectra from different types of papers used by the governments. TXRF technique for differentiation of documents printed with rare earth (lanthanides) inks too shows a promise of forensic applications, according to Aggarwal and his colleagues.

"This can even differentiate the fake and genuine manuscripts... TXRF requires comparatively less amount of (ink) sample than the currently used techniques, only a very tiny portion of the manuscript will be destroyed for quantitative analysis," Aggarwal said.

These methods can be used for verification of genuineness of passports, driving license, credit card, will, etc.

Recent advances in desk-top publishing and colour copiers have posed a challenge to forensic experts, hence new techniques matter.

In the case of government documents, a common way of forgery is replacing one or some of the pages. But such documents use paper made by a single company, so if one of them is replaced, it can be detected through analysis of paper.