Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 37(8), 1123 (2021).

An Evaluation of Total Reflection X-Ray Fluorescence as a Tool for Forensic Discrimination of Single Polyester Fibers
Hikari TAKAHARA,* Wataru MATSUDA,* Yasushi KUSAKABE,* Satoshi IKEDA,* Masatsugu KURAOKA,* Hibiki KOMATSU,** and Yoshinori NISHIWAKI***
*X-ray Instrument Division, Rigaku Corporation, 14-8 Akaoji, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1146, Japan
**TOSA Innovative Human Development Programs, Kochi University, 2-5-1 Akebono-cho, Kochi 780-8520, Japan
***Division of Chemistry, Faculty of Education, Kochi University, 2-5-1 Akebono-cho, Kochi 780-8520, Japan
Total reflection X-ray fluorescence (TXRF) spectrometry was applied to a forensic discrimination of single polyester fibers. In a non-destructive direct measurement of 5 mm long single fibers used for forensic references, trace metallic elements such as Ti, Sb, Ge, Mn, and Co, found in additives and catalyst residues, were detected using a benchtop TXRF spectrometer. The individual elemental compositions of the fibers were identified, and correlations between the compositions and manufacturers were established using principal component analysis (PCA). Black polyester fibers sampled from the car trunk mats were also analyzed. Several fibers were found to contain both Sb and Ge, elements that characterize different polymerization catalysts; this indicates that the fibers were composed of recycled materials. The TXRF and SR-μXRF spectra showed similar patterns for the fiber samples that were analyzed.