Volume 32, Issue 3 (May 1987)
Investigation of Gunshot Residues by Means of Auger Electron Spectroscopy
In the past years, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) has displayed many advantages over established methods such as optical emission spectroscopy (OES), atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), and neutron activation analysis (NAA) for the investigation of gunshot residues (GSR). In a research project, Auger electron spectroscopy was used instead of EDX. This method makes possible analyses of the chemical elements with superior lateral resolution. Furthermore, elements with low mass numbers and elements whose peaks overlap at EDX can be measured. In addition, sputtering equipment depth profiles can be established. Our experiments demonstrate the potential of Auger electron spectroscopy for the investigation of GSR. Also, they produced many details on GSR from various ammunition.