An Introduction to Instrumentation Used in Fire Debris and Explosive Analysis

  • Kenyon Evans-Nguyen


Instrumentation is essential to forensic analysis of fire debris and explosives. Coupled gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer instruments are used extensively in the analysis of fire debris. The molecular compositions of explosives are analyzed with a variety of methods including gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, and vibrational spectroscopy. The inorganic and elemental composition of explosives and related materials can be interrogated using techniques such as ion chromatography, vibrational spectroscopy, X-ray fluorescence, and scanning electron microscopy–energy-dispersive spectroscopy. Each instrumental technique has advantages and disadvantages for different types and forms of samples. A basic understanding of each method and the underlying theory will inform the development of effective analytical schemes for samples.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenyon Evans-Nguyen
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of TampaTampaUSA

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