Potential applications of scanning probe microscopy in forensic science

Watson, G.S., and Watson, J.A. (2007) Potential applications of scanning probe microscopy in forensic science. Journal of Physics: conference series, 61. pp. 1251-1255.

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The forensic community utilises a myriad of techniques to investigate a wide range of materials, from paint flakes to DNA. The various microscopic techniques have provided some of the greatest contributions, e.g., FT-IR (Fourier-transform infrared) microspectroscopy utilised in copy toner discrimination, multi-layer automobile paint fragment examination, etc, SEM-EDA (scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive analysis) used to investigate glass fragments, fibers, and explosives, and SEM in microsampling for elemental analysis, just to name a few.

This study demonstrates the ability of the Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM) to analyse human fingerprints on surfaces utilising a step-and-scan feature, enabling analysis of a larger field-of-view. We also extend a line crossings study by incorporating height analysis and surface roughness measurements. The study demonstrates the potential for SPM techniques to be utilised for forensic analysis which could complement the more traditional methodologies used in such investigations.

Item ID: 18206
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1742-6596
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2011 06:59
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069901 Forensic Biology @ 50%
02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0299 Other Physical Sciences > 029904 Synchrotrons; Accelerators; Instruments and Techniques @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 60%
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