Gathering Evidence by IR and Raman Spectroscopy

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Forensic Sciences apply Infrared and Raman spectroscopic methods for many years to analyze all types of unknown samples. These methods are proven to reveal the chemical composition of material suspected to be illicit or dangerous within seconds.

Microspectroscopy even allows to identify small pieces of trace evidence and to provide insight into the structure of complex samples like paint chips.

Bruker Optics offers suitable solutions for typical analytical questions in Forensics. This covers devices for micro- and macroscopic samples, for dedicated use or with flexibility for a broader range of applications

Identifying the Unknown

Forensic science has to analyze samples that are challenging with regards to their diversity, composition and size. Typical sample types are illicit materials like drugs and explosives, trace evidence found at a crime scene like fibers or paint chips, and documents suspected to be counterfeit.

A high percentage of the seized drug samples are laced and therefore difficult to identify, new drug substances appear almost monthly and the amount of different substances is

innumerable. Furthermore, many samples like fibers are microscopically small and cannot be analyzed by conventional means.

For all of these different substance classes and sample types IR-spectroscopy is a powerful tool that can identify an unknown sample in just a few seconds. Very complex samples

like laced drugs or so called legal highs can be identified with dedicated spectral libraries and powerful tools like mixture analysis. With FT-IR microscopy, it is even possible to identify

samples in the micrometer range and to analyze the individual components of a multilayered paint chip.

Raman spectroscopic analysis of forensic samples provides complementary information to the obtained IR-results. While infrared spectroscopy allows to measure virtually any type of sample the particular strength of Raman is its higher specificity for certain substances. Furthermore Raman allows noninvasive measurements in vials and depthprofiling analysis of structured materials. These features make the method quite powerful for identifying pigments and for analyzing suspect material inside a glass vial or plastic packaging.

Gathering Evidence by IR and Raman Spectroscopy

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