This thesis aims to address knowledge gaps in glass analysis by identifying, understanding, and proposing ways to minimize sources of variability within the elemental analysis of glass, using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and micro-X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (m-XRF).
Broken glass is a trace material frequently found at crime scenes such as hit-and-runs, burglaries, assaults, and homicides. Existing research encompassing the forensic analysis of glass evidence is vast. Published studies cover the analysis and interpretation of various types of glass. However, organizations such as the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), National Institute of Standards and Technology Organization of Scientific Area Committees (NIST-OSAC), and American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners (ASTEE) continue to identify glass-specific research needs to strengthen the scientific foundations of the field. Current gaps within the forensic glass community involve understanding modern glass formulations, re-evaluating the performance of technologically advanced instrumentation, assessing the effect of small glass fragments applied to standard practices, and developing new methods to advance data analysis and interpretation. This thesis aims to address these knowledge gaps by identifying, understanding, and proposing ways to minimize sources of variability within the elemental analysis of glass using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and micro X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (m-XRF). (Published abstract provided)
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