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Use of Scanning Electron Microscopy / Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) Methods for the Analysis of Trace Evidence

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $308,239)

The goal of this project is to develop and test an innovative instrumental trace evidence analysis approach based on the recovery and quantitative SEM/EDS analysis of fine particles that are found adhering to the surfaces of conventional trace evidence materials. Analysis of these "piggy back" particles can remove a fundamental limitation to the probative value of trace evidence, and provide an independent quantitative means to test hypotheses of common origin. The potential significance of this new instrumental approach is extremely high ultimately it could provide the means to fundamentally change the probative value of trace evidence from one of class association to one of highly individual, testable associations.


Date Created: September 13, 2010