Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Advisor/Committee Chair

Igor Lednev

Committee Member

Sonivette Colón Rodríguez


Current methods used for determining the age buried bones for forensic purposes are heavily affected by environmental conditions, can be susceptible to scientific bias and the interpretation can vary from investigator to investigator. Raman Spectroscopy can potentially be used as an automatic method to analyze the composition of bone eliminating the human factor. To test this hypothesis, we will use Raman spectroscopy to potentially identify the burial time of bones. The change in the chemical composition of the pig bones was probed using a Raman spectrometer with a 785nm excitation wavelength. Other parameters of the Raman instrument were optimized to create a protocol that would be universal for all bone samples, regardless of the age. The best parameters used were 100% laser power, one accumulation, and a 120-second accumulation time. This method was confirmed to be the ideal method for this sample by testing both the youngest and oldest samples in the group. Using this method, the youngest sample was tested in different spots on the particle, and it was seen that there were differences in the spectra, which is another factor that must be accounted for when making the model in the future.

Available for download on Thursday, December 01, 2022

Included in

Chemistry Commons