Gunshot Residue (GSR) is residual material from the discharge of a firearm, which frequently provides crucial information in criminal investigations. Changes in ammunition manufacturing are gradually phasing out the heavy metals on which current forensic GSR analysis is based, and the latest Heavy Metal Free (HMF) primers urgently demand new forensic solutions. Proton scanning microbeam Ion Beam Analysis (IBA), in conjunction with the Scanning Electron Microscope equipped with an Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (SEM-EDS), can be introduced into forensic analysis to solve both new and old problems, with a procedure entirely commensurate with current forensic practice. Six cartridges producing GSR particles known to be interesting in casework by both experience and the literature were selected for this study. A standard procedure to relocate the same particles previously analysed by SEM-EDS, based on both secondary electron (SE) and X-ray imaging was developed and tested. Elemental Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) mapping of the emitted X-rays allowed relocation in a scan of 10μm×10μm of even a 1μm GSR particle. The comparison between spectra from the same particle obtained by SEM-EDS and IBA-PIXE showed that the latter is much more sensitive at mid-high energies. Results that are very interesting in a forensic context were obtained with particles from a cartridge containing mercury fulminate in the primer. Particle-induced gamma-ray emission (PIGE) maps of a particles from HMF cartridges allowed identification of Boron and Sodium in particles from hands using the B(p,αγ)Be, B(p,pγ)B and Na(p,pγ)Na reactions, which is extraordinary in a forensic context. The capability for quantitative analysis of elements within individual particles by IBA was also demonstrated, giving the opportunity to begin a new chapter in the research on GSR particles. The integrated procedure that was developed, which makes use of all the IBA signals, has unprecedented characterisation and discrimination power for GSR samples. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Darwin glass is an impact glass resulting from the melting of local rocks during the meteorite impact that formed the 1.2 km diameter Darwin Crater in western Tasmania. These glass samples have small spheroidal inclusions, typically a few tens of microns in diameter, that are of great interest to the geologists. We have analysed one such inclusion in detail with proton microbeam ion beam analysis (IBA). A highly heterogeneous composition is observed, both laterally and in depth, by using self-consistent fitting of photon emission and particle backscattering spectra. With various proton energies near 2 MeV we excite the C-12(p,p)C-12 resonance at 1734 keV at various depths, and thus we can probe both the C concentration, and also the energy straggling of the proton beam as a function of depth which gives information on the sample structure. This inclusion has an average composition of (C, O, Si) = (28, 56, 16) mol% with S, K, Ca, Ti and Fe as minor elements and Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn and Br as trace elements. This composition includes, at specific points, an elemental depth profile and a density variation with depth consistent with discrete quartz crystals a few microns in size. (c) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The independent verification in a forensics context of quartz grain morphological typing by scanning electron microscopy was demonstrated using particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and particle-induced γ-ray emission (PIGE). Surface texture analysis by electron microscopy and high-sensitivity trace element mapping by PIXE and PIGE are independent analytical techniques for identifying the provenance of quartz in sediment samples in forensic investigations. Trace element profiling of the quartz grain matrix separately from the quartz grain inclusions served to differentiate grains of different provenance and indeed went some way toward discriminating between different quartz grain types identified in a single sample of one known forensic provenance. These results confirm the feasibility of independently verifying the provenance of critical samples from forensic cases.
The suite of techniques which are available with the small accelerators used for MeV ion beam analysis (IBA) range from broad beams, microbeams or external beams using the various particle and photon spectrometries (including RBS, EBS, ERD, STIM, PIXE, PIGE, NRA and their variants), to tomography and secondary particle spectrometries like MeV-SIMS. These can potentially yield almost everything there is to know about the 3-D elemental composition of types of samples that have always been hard to analyse, given the sensitivity and the spacial resolution of the techniques used. Molecular and chemical information is available in principle with, respectively, MeV-SIMS and high resolution PIXE. However, these techniques separately give only partial information – the secret of “Total IBA” is to find synergies between techniques used simultaneously which efficiently give extra information. We here review how far “Total IBA” can be considered already a reality, and what further needs to be done to realise its full potential.
Reconstruction approaches based on monocular defocus analysis such as Depth from Defocus (DFD) often utilise the thin lens camera model. Despite this widespread adoption, there are inherent limitations associated with it. Coupled with invalid parameterisation commonplace in literature, the overly-simplified image formation it describes leads to inaccurate defocus modelling; especially in macro-scale scenes. As a result, DFD reconstructions based around this model are not geometrically consistent, and are typically restricted to single-view applications. Subsequently, the handful of existing approaches which attempt to include additional viewpoints have had only limited success.In this work, we address these issues by instead utilising a thick lens camera model, and propose a novel calibration procedure to accurately parameterise it. The effectiveness of our model and calibration is demonstrated with a novel DFD reconstruction framework. We achieve highly detailed, geometrically accurate and complete 3D models of real-world scenes from multi-view focal stacks. To our knowledge, this is the first time DFD has been successfully applied to complete scene modelling in this way.
The first analytical intercomparison of fingerprint residue using equivalent samples of latent fingerprint residue and characterized by a suite of relevant techniques is presented. This work has never been undertaken, presumably due to the perishable nature of fingerprint residue, the lack of fingerprint standards, and the intradonor variability, which impacts sample reproducibility. For the first time, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, high-energy secondary ion mass spectrometry, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy are used to target endogenous compounds in fingerprints and a method is presented for establishing their relative abundance in fingerprint residue. Comparison of the newer techniques with the more established gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging shows good agreement between the methods, with each method detecting repeatable differences between the donors, with the exception of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization, for which quantitative analysis has not yet been established. We further comment on the sensitivity, selectivity, and practicability of each of the methods for use in future police casework or academic research.