Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Chemistry

Content Description

1 online resource (viii, 17 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Igor K Lednev

Committee Members

Jan Halamek


fluorescence, gunshot residue, Raman spectroscopy, Gunshot residues, Chemistry, Forensic, Wavelengths, Forensic ballistics

Subject Categories



Gunshot residue (GSR) is a type of trace evidence that can often be recovered at violent crime scenes. There are two major types of GSR, organic gunshot residue (OGSR), and inorganic gunshot residue (IGSR). Traditional forensic analysis of GSR focuses on IGSR, although with the movement towards lead-free, or non-toxic ammunition, IGSR analysis has become less informative, as lead is a major component of IGSR analysis. Because of this, OGSR has been investigated to supplement the standard IGSR analysis methods. Previous work has shown Raman spectroscopy to be effective at identifying OGSR as well as a minimally destructive and specific technique. However, there has been no consensus in past studies with regards to the best excitation wavelength and parameters at which to investigate OGSR particles nor a no definitive answer with regards to combatting the problem of fluorescence in Raman spectra of OGSRs. This study aimed to determine the optimal parameters at which to obtain Raman spectroscopic signatures of OGSR particles. This was done by investigating OGSR from a variety of ammunition calibers at different excitation wavelengths. This study serves to move the forensics field towards a standardized method for the analysis of OGSR using Raman spectroscopy— which is a crucial factor for introducing new methods of evidence analysis into the court system.

Included in

Chemistry Commons