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Review
. 2014;2014:428038.
doi: 10.1155/2014/428038. Epub 2014 Jun 15.

Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Microanalysis for Chemical and Morphological Characterisation of the Inorganic Component of Gunshot Residue: Selected Problems

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Free PMC article
Review

Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Microanalysis for Chemical and Morphological Characterisation of the Inorganic Component of Gunshot Residue: Selected Problems

Zuzanna Brożek-Mucha. Biomed Res Int. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Chosen aspects of examinations of inorganic gunshot particles by means of scanning electron microscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry technique are presented. The research methodology of particles was worked out, which included a precise and repeatable procedure of the automatic detection and identification of particles as well as the representation of the obtained analytical data in the form of the frequencies of occurrence of particles of certain chemical or morphological class within the whole population of particles revealed in a specimen. On this basis, there were established relationships between the chemical and morphological properties of populations of particles and factors, such as the type of ammunition, the distance from the gun muzzle to the target, the type of a substrate the particles sediment on, and the time between shooting and collecting the specimens. Each of these aspects of examinations of particles revealed a great potential of being utilised in casework, while establishing various circumstances of shooting incidents leads to the reconstruction of the course of the studied incident.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Comparison of the effectiveness of detection of particles in manual and automatic manner. Numbers of particles (N) are presented within ranges of effective diameters d=4S/π, where S is the area of the particle image.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Dynamic effects influencing the numbers of detected particles.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Spectrum of a three-component particle containing traces of copper originating from the cartridge case. The vertical axis represents the intensity of X-ray radiation given in pulse counts (cts); full scale 560 cts.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Typical morphology of GSR particles: airborne (a, b) and remaining inside the cartridge case (c, d).
Figure 5
Figure 5
Number of particles (N) collected from targets depending on the shooting distance (s).
Figure 6
Figure 6
Shapes of the most persistent particles.

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References

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