Analysis of gunshot residue (GSR), produced by the discharge of afirearm, can assist in the association of a suspect with a crime and in the recon-struction of the sequence of events preceding the crime. The golden standard inthe analysis of GSR is scanning electron microscope equipped with a detector forthe X-ray emission (SEM/EDX). SEM/EDX allows automatic detection of parti-cles containing heavy elements (such as GSR), imaging of particles detected andchemical analysis by EDX. Toxicological and environmental concerns led ammu-nition manufacturing towards products not containing Pb and other heavy metals.For SEM/EDX it is difficult to characterise the particles from lead-free ammunitionand particles from heavy metal free (HMF) cartridges are impossible to be automat-ically detected. Possible new alternatives could be electron backscattered diffractiondetectors (EBSD), ion beam analysis (IBA), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spec-trometry (ToF-SIMS), Raman chemical maps, attenuated total reflectance (ATR)imaging and FTIR spectroscopy or, to a lesser extent due to lack of imaging capabil-ities, chromatography and mass spectrometry. The evaluation of the time since thelast discharge is another interesting forensic problem associated to GSR, needingfurther research for routine application in casework.

(2019). Advances in Analysis of Gunshot Residue . Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/146476

Advances in Analysis of Gunshot Residue

Romolo, Francesco Saverio
2019

Abstract

Analysis of gunshot residue (GSR), produced by the discharge of afirearm, can assist in the association of a suspect with a crime and in the recon-struction of the sequence of events preceding the crime. The golden standard inthe analysis of GSR is scanning electron microscope equipped with a detector forthe X-ray emission (SEM/EDX). SEM/EDX allows automatic detection of parti-cles containing heavy elements (such as GSR), imaging of particles detected andchemical analysis by EDX. Toxicological and environmental concerns led ammu-nition manufacturing towards products not containing Pb and other heavy metals.For SEM/EDX it is difficult to characterise the particles from lead-free ammunitionand particles from heavy metal free (HMF) cartridges are impossible to be automat-ically detected. Possible new alternatives could be electron backscattered diffractiondetectors (EBSD), ion beam analysis (IBA), time-of-flight secondary ion mass spec-trometry (ToF-SIMS), Raman chemical maps, attenuated total reflectance (ATR)imaging and FTIR spectroscopy or, to a lesser extent due to lack of imaging capabil-ities, chromatography and mass spectrometry. The evaluation of the time since thelast discharge is another interesting forensic problem associated to GSR, needingfurther research for routine application in casework.
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