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Elemental Analysis of Glass and Paint Materials by Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) Forensic Application

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Awardee County
Miami Dade
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2003, $136,627)

Small amounts of materials that transfer from a person to a crime scene, a scene to a person, or between two people or objects have been shown to provide for excellent trace evidence. Fiber, paint, and glass are commonly encountered as trace evidence. The principal investigator previously investigated the use of elemental analysis of glass fragments by ICP-MS using a solution analysis technique. While ICP-MS was shown to be a highly discriminatory and powerful method, the complexity of the sample preparation step precluded its adoption into forensic laboratories. However, the incorporation of a laser ablation solid sampling accessory as a replacement for solution analysis significantly reduces the complexity and time needed for the sample preparation step. A limited number of studies using laser ablation in conjunction with ICP-MS have been reported in the literature. A standard methodology prescribing the optimal parameters does not currently exist. This proposal aims to develop and validate a standard laser ablation ICP-MS method for the examination of glass and paint evidence.

Date Created: September 29, 2003