Volume 39, Issue 2 (March 1994)
Applications of Fourier Transform Raman Spectroscopy in Forensic Science
A number of possible new applications for the use of Fourier Transform Raman spectroscopy (FT-Raman) in forensic science have been investigated. The evidence materials studied were fragments of broken plastic automobile lenses, paint coatings, paper and others.
Raman spectroscopy was not only able to distinguish between the types of polymers employed in the manufacture of the lenses but, was also found to be sensitive to the thermal history impared to the item during its production. The detection of these internal stress conditions and their characterization by FT-Raman led to the differentiation of manufacturers of the same products.
When inherent background fluorescence does not interfere (white, yellow, light colors) the Raman spectra of paint coatings supplies complementary information to that of FT-IR about the polymer binder while being a more useful technique for mineral pigment and extender component analyses.
The FT-Raman technique is useful in forensic document examination of paper because of its ability to identify mineral components and some of the minor components which are associated with the origin of the cellulose and technology of paper production.