Application of laser ablation inductively coupled plasma multicollector mass spectometry in determination of lead isotope ratios in common glass for forensic purposes

Knut Endre Sjåstad*, Tom Andersen, Siri Lene Simonsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Samples of glass used as trace evidence in criminal cases are commonly small, with particle sizes below a millimeter. To perform chemical analysis suitable for forensic purposes, methods capable of analyzing such small samples are required. In this paper, analyses of lead isotope ratios by means of laser ablation inductively coupled multicollector mass spectrometry (LA-MC-ICP-MS) are presented. Sampling by use of laser ablation allows fragments down to 0.1 mg to be analyzed with sufficient precision to discriminate between glasses of different origin. In fact, the use of lead isotopes determined by LA-MC-ICP-MS approaches the discrimination attainable by multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) analysis of dissolved samples of 5 mg or more. Further, we have obtained a probability distribution by two dimensional kernel density estimates for the collected data set as an alternative presentation method to the well-established bivariate plot. The underlying information available from kernel density estimates is of importance for forensic scientists involved in probabilistic interpretation of physical evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part B Atomic Spectroscopy
Volume89
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Forensic glass examination
  • Laser ablation
  • Lead isotope ratio
  • Likelihood ratio

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