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Title: Multi-variate stable isotope analysis of industrially manufactured materials in a forensic context
Author: Farmer, Nicola Louise
Awarding Body: Queen's University of Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
There are numerous problems associated with the analysis of samples from mass produced goods if the resulting data are intended for use in court. Currently, many methods do not provide a definitive answer to the question if two chemically identical samples share the same provenance, so new techniques are being tested to overcome this problem. Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) measures stable isotope abundance, a compound characteristic that can provide information as to the provenance of natural and synthetic substances. The potential use of IRMS to determine both source and origin of natural substances has been tested with some success identifying for example geographical origin of drugs such as heroin and cocaine (Ehleringer et al. 1999). The aim of this thesis was to study the application of stable isotope analytical techniques to two representatives of mass produced goods, namely architectural white paint and wooden safety matches. Existing analytical techniques are not sufficient for the forensic examination of architectural paint. The proposed solution was stable isotope profiling using IRMS. Background studies were carried out to determine potential intra and inter-batch variability of paint samples. This was followed by studies of 51 architectural white paints, which showed the considerable potential of stable isotope profiling when combined with likelihood ratios as a forensic statistical tool. The results from IRMS were compared to other analytical methods. Wooden matches are items commonly encountered at a variety of crime scenes. However prior to this thesis, no established comparative method of forensic analysis existed for this. type of sample. Wooden matches were analysed by IRMS and the results compared to microscopy and X-ray diffraction. Each of the techniques produced complimentary data and allowed the differentiation of two sets of matches seized in an actual criminal investigation. The analysis of burnt wooden matches by IRMS showed considerable potential for even when samoles were burnt. Supplied by The British Library - 'The world's knowledge'
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.491993  DOI: Not available
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