Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Chemistry

Content Description

1 online resource (iv, 15 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Igor Lednev

Committee Members

Paul Toscano, Shelby Khandasammy


Ballistics, Forensics Chemistry, Hierarchial Modelling, Raman Spectroscopy, Smokeless Powders, Spectroscopy, Gunshot residues, Powders, Raman spectroscopy, Chemistry, Forensic

Subject Categories



With the rise of gun-based crime and the advent of lead-free ammunition reducing the effectiveness of previously used methods, the analysis of smokeless powders to better understand organic gunshot residues is now more important than ever. One method that has shown potential is Raman spectroscopy, a relatively quick, nondestructive, and non-contact analysis method. To investigate whether Raman spectroscopy could be used to characterize individual powders, samples of smokeless powders from three manufacturers, Remington, Federal, and Winchester, each with two 9mm caliber and two .38 caliber ammo types, were dissolved, and their Raman spectra were collected. A hierarchical modelling system was developed, using SVM-DA for manufacturer differentiation and then PLS-DA with varying LVs for caliber differentiation within the manufacturer classes, and the assignment of major peaks was made. This study demonstrated proof-of-concept for how to best proceed with building differentiation models when dealing with OGSR and smokeless powder evidence in the future.

Available for download on Saturday, May 18, 2024

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Chemistry Commons