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Microspectrophotometry of Fibers: Advances in Analysis and Interpretation

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2015
421 pages
This report discusses advances in analysis and interpretation in the use of microspectrophotometry (MSP) in fabric analysis, as it illustrates and explores several topics that can guide the bench analyst in the various uses of MSP in forensic fabric analysis.

The major sections of this report address the investigation of spectral variables, sample preparation effects, sampling effects, fluorescence microscopy, data collection recommendations, fiber components, and spectral interpretation and discrimination. Under each of these categories, sub-topics address procedures, options, and challenges to be addressed. The report notes that an evaluation of the abundant literature from the past two decades on forensic MSP provides a great number of guidelines, studies, and applications of MSP; however, much of this literature is designed to address basic questions of significance and discriminating power. In the current report, the authors' pose and discuss significant issues encountered in their casework. These are discussed in this report because they are topics about which many examiners are unaware. In addition, as statistical interpretation becomes more significant, subtle artifacts and uncontrolled variations have the potential to alter the reliability of a spectral comparison. It is critical that the influence of topics such as instrument parameters, sample preparation, and spectral interpretation be better understood. 358 figures and 33 references

Date Published: May 1, 2015