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Elemental Analysis of Glass and Paint Materials by Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) for Forensic Application

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2010
256 pages
The research reported expands on prior work that developed a solution analysis-based standard method for the elemental analysis of glass, i.e., inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) analyte detection, by using a laser ablation (LA) sampling source prior to the ICP-MS analyte detection.
One significant disadvantage to solution analysis is the time-consuming nature of the sample preparation, which uses acid digestion of the glasses for metal analysis. The proposed methodology described in this report uses a LA-sampling source before the ICP-MS analyte detection. In addition to shortening the time required for the glass analysis, direct comparison of the results for solution and LA analyses also provides additional data for a more comprehensive study of the LA method development for glass comparison. The results of the studies described in this report, along with the results of several groups (i.e. NITECRIME network), produces excellent precision and low bias for the analysis of glass samples encountered in forensic casework. Glass sample size and sample heterogeneity/homogeneity considerations were also addressed. The technique was also found to be viable for the trace elemental analysis and comparison of paints, with the advantages of offering much better limits of detection than SEM and XRF methods, with minimum sample manipulation and more discrimination potential. Extensive tables and figures and 43 references

Date Published: October 1, 2010