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Application of Static Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry to Trace Evidence Analysis

NCJ Number
Date Published
107 pages
This study assesses the efficacy of static secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) for providing highly specific chemical characterization of trace evidence samples.
Samples coated with automotive paint and with nail polishes could be distinguished on the basis of their SIMS spectra, provided the data were reduced using multivariate analysis techniques. Hair samples could be readily characterized in terms of the consumer chemicals present on the surface, namely soap and softener chemicals. Heroin and cocaine could be readily detected on fiber surfaces using SIMS. The study describes methods for analyzing hair and fiber samples. The SIMS technique has the potential to provide a chemical-specific characterization for a variety of trace evidence characterizations. Use of the technique is limited by the high cost of instrumentation and data interpretation and by the level of expertise required for routine operation. Figures, tables, references

Date Published: January 1, 1999