Scanning Microscopy


When solving cases of burglary or investigating ship collisions, the forensic scientist frequently has to examine several layers of paint of the same color, often white. As a rule, the usual microscopic and spectroscopic methods [fluorescence microscopy, FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy), pyrolysis, GC/MS (Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry), etc.] are not sufficient to prove that the paint traces found on the scene, which are often only available in the form of fragments, originated from the same source as the reference material. It is possible to achieve convincing proof of this using either an optical cathodoluminescence-microscope or a cathodoluminescence-scanning electron microscope, both of which can be coupled to a visible (VIS)-spectrometer.

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