Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.580092
Title: Novel approaches to forensic casework using Raman spectroscopy
Author: Stewart, Samantha P.
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
Raman spectroscopy is currently the subject of much interest from the forensic science community due to its advantageous properties. In this Thesis, the technique is employed in the examination of several evidence types such as multi-layer white paint, inks, a new class of drug-of- abuse and explosives. For the multi-layer white paint chip, layers could be delineated on the basis of the changing chemical composition between paints in different layers. For the inks, Raman spectroscopy provided good discrimination and in some cases, better than the conventional techniques employed. This enabled construction of a flow chart was to direct the forensic document examiner to the most efficient techniques to use." Legal highs" are a new class of drug-of-abuse posing considerable problems for the criminal justice system, in particular the l3-ketophenethylamines. Within forensic casework, significant volumes of these materials are still encountered. Therefore, data on the Raman studies of a series of reference standards and seized samples are presented and demonstrate that the technique provides a rapid and effective method to identify these materials and any bulking materials present. Finally, data are presented on two compounds used in the manufacture of improvised explosive devices, ammonium nitrate based fertiliser and hydrogen peroxide. Using Raman spectroscopy, information on the composition of the fertiliser encountered within these devices could be rapidly obtained. A small number of seized samples were examined and it was demonstrated that there was significant variance between them that allowed discrimination. Peroxide based explosives are currently one of the explosives of choice for terrorists and here, a method to semi-quantitatively identify the concentration of hydrogen peroxide using a handheld spectrometer. This thesis demonstrated the significant benefit that could be obtained by implementing Raman spectroscopy in the standard operating procedure for several evidence types.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.580092  DOI: Not available
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