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NCJ Number: 200808 Find in a Library
Title: Infrared Forensics: The Price is Light
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:30  Issue:6  Dated:June 2003  Pages:150-155
Author(s): Douglas Page
Editor(s): Ronnie Garrett
Date Published: June 2003
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Technical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the modification to forensic infrared (IR) spectroscopy, using the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), enhancing the capability of forensic investigators to analyze materials too small for standard instrumentation.
Abstract: Due to its ability to identify molecular constituents of complex materials from their vibrational spectra, known as molecular fingerprinting, infrared (IR) spectroscopy has been a mainline analytical tool for decades in both industry and laboratory. However, forensic infrared spectroscopy is limited by its inability to examine relatively small amounts of material with precise sensitivity. Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) have attempted to address this problem. Using LBNL’s Advanced Light Source (ALS), an electron synchrotron that generates intense beams of photons in the IR spectrum, the IR spectroscopy has been enhanced. LBNL has combined infrared spectroscopy and microscopy to form a powerful new analytical technique. ALS allows investigators to focus IR light down to a 10 micron spot size or less. Using a synchrotron for IR analysis enables an investigator to rapidly and nondestructively determine composition or to trace comparison to known substances with very small amounts of materials and with a high degree of sensitivity and accuracy. The forensic future of synchrotron-based infrared spectromicroscopy is almost limitless.
Main Term(s): Infrared techniques
Index Term(s): Crime laboratories; Crime laboratory equipment; Criminalistics; Evidence collection; Evidence identification; Photography techniques; Spectroscopy
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