Elemental analysis in forensic laboratories can be tedious and many trace evidence items are not analyzed to determine their elemental composition. Presently, scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) is the primary analytical tool for determining the elemental composition of trace evidence items. However, due to the time it takes to obtain the required vacuum and the limited number of samples that can be analyzed at any one time, SEM-EDS can be impractical for a high volume of evidence items. An alternative instrument that can be used for this type of analysis is laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). While LA-ICP-MS is a very precise and quantitative analytical method that determines elemental composition based on isotopic mass measurements; however, the instrumentation is relatively expensive and therefore is budgetarily prohibitive for many forensic laboratories. It is the purpose of this research to evaluate an inexpensive instrument that can potentially provide rapid elemental analysis for many forensic laboratories. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an analytical method that meets these requirements and offers information about the elemental composition based on ionic, atomic and diatomic molecular emissions.
|School:||University of Central Florida|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Analytical chemistry, Molecular physics, Plasma physics|
|Keywords:||Forensic trace evidence, Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy, Molecular emissions|
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