Orensic science: Materials Identification
At present, police officers remain relatively ignorant of many of the chemical techniques available for forensic analysis and characterisation of trace evidence. To help Police policy makers, you have been asked to produce a
briefing report to highlight some of the techniques that can be used to determine the elemental composition of a material, be that solid or liquid. You should focus on the techniques discussed in the Instrumental Techniques lectures but extra marks are available for techniques you have researched yourselves. Initially, you should consider each technique in isolation, discussing how the technique works, its sensitivity, any particular positives or negatives and the types of sample for
which the technique would most appropriate.
You should then look at all of the techniques holistically and produce a set of recommendations in the form of a flow chart or table showing which technique(s)
or variants you would recommend for the following samples given the analysis requirements stated.
You should also note the reasons for your decisions:
1. Liquid Sample Where accurate determination of the amount of a single dissolved element e.g. Lead is required.
2. Liquid Sample Where rapid determination and quantification of the presence a variety of elements is required.
3. Paste Sample Where accurate determination of the amount of a single element e.g. Arsenic is required..
4. Solid Sample Where determination of surface or sub-surface elemental composition is required rapidly