skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 232135 Find in a Library
Title: Application of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy to Forensic Science: Analysis of Paint and Glass Samples
Author(s): Michael E. Sigman
Date Published: October 2010
Page Count: 44
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Grant Number: 2004-IJ-CX-K031
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Under the funding provided for this study, a commercial single 1064 nm pulse laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument was purchased and used to assess the potential for using LIBS in the forensic analysis of glass samples, which is a less expensive technology than laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma - mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS).
Abstract: The study results show that LIBS, when used in conjunction with refractive index (RI), provides high (greater than 90 percent) discriminating power for several glass types, including beverage glass, automobile headlamp glass, and float glass from automobile side and rear windows. LIBS and RI exhibited a lower discriminating power for automobile side-mirror glass, which is commonly found in forensic casework. A subset of the side-mirror glass that exhibited a small variance in measured RI values, however, was highly discriminated (greater than 90 percent) by LIBS+ RI. A comparative assessment of LIBS and LA-ICP-MS for several common sets of glass samples found LA-ICP-MS to be a more highly discriminating analytical technique, although the analysis time is longer. Based on these findings, the researchers recommend that failure to discriminate questioned and known samples by LIBS or LIBS+RI constitutes ground for reanalysis with a more highly discriminating technique. The authors caution that this study did not address the use of the evolving dual pulse LIBS techniques, which may prove to be more highly discriminating for glass analysis. This report includes a short background review of forensic glass analysis, a brief introduction to LIBS, and a description of the data analysis methods used to determine the discriminating power of LIBS. 10 tables, 4 figures, 30 references, and appended list of scientific presentations resulting from this research along with sample statistical analysis
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Forensic sciences; Glass analysis; Investigative techniques; NIJ final report; Paint analysis
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.