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Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry in Forensic Science

NCJ Number
Wiley Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry Volume: Forensic Analytical Chemistry Dated: 2010
Date Published

This article summarizes the recent literature that describes the use of laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) in the field of forensic examinations, with selected applications that highlight the forensic analyses of a variety of matrices and analytes of interest, as well as the advantages, limitations, and future trends in this field.


A critical evaluation of the parameters of forensic interest is discussed in detail, including the analytical performance of the technique, discrimination potential (when comparing samples), the impact of sample homogeneity/heterogeneity at the microscale, reproducibility, quality control, sampling strategies, sampling size requirements, availability of matrix-matched standards, data analysis, and the interpretation of results. Practical considerations - such as the selection of laser wavelength and carrier gas, the use of internal standardization, and quantification strategies - are discussed, along with the unique requirements of quality control, method validation, and acceptance in court. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2010