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Evaluation of Particle-Induced X-ray Emission and Particle-Induced γ-ray Emission of Quartz Grains for Forensic Trace Sediment Analysis

Bailey, M. J., Morgan, R. M., Comini, P., Calusi, S., Bull, P. A.
Analytical chemistry 2012 v.84 no.5 pp. 2260-2267
X-radiation, analytical methods, forensic sciences, gamma radiation, provenance, quartz, scanning electron microscopy, sediments, texture, trace elements
The independent verification in a forensics context of quartz grain morphological typing by scanning electron microscopy was demonstrated using particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and particle-induced γ-ray emission (PIGE). Surface texture analysis by electron microscopy and high-sensitivity trace element mapping by PIXE and PIGE are independent analytical techniques for identifying the provenance of quartz in sediment samples in forensic investigations. Trace element profiling of the quartz grain matrix separately from the quartz grain inclusions served to differentiate grains of different provenance and indeed went some way toward discriminating between different quartz grain types identified in a single sample of one known forensic provenance. These results confirm the feasibility of independently verifying the provenance of critical samples from forensic cases.