Spectrophotometry in Forensics

Through forensic spectrophotometry, analysts can intensely study crime scene evidence using the power of electromagnetic imaging. Spectrophotometry is the process of scientifically and objectively measuring color and radio wavelengths. It is more dependable than using human eyes, and it provides reproducible results on an easy-to-understand scale. With spectrophotometry, forensic examiners can distinguish between the chemical composition, material and even brand of a piece of evidence all by examining how the sample reflects wavelengths. 

Spectrophotometry is a preferred method of forensic analysis due to its non-destructive analytical abilities. This process is versatile enough to analyze fibers, hairs and forensic materials such as bodily fluids, drugs and fingerprints. Spectrophotometers also have the advantage of not requiring sample preparation before a material can be analyzed. 

What Is Spectrophotometry?

Spectrophotometry refers to the process of analyzing samples using electromagnetic waves. To test a sample, spectrophotometers test how the light refracts and reflects off a particular material and analyze its color, infrared and ultraviolet properties and more. Using spectrophotometry, you can tell the difference between similar samples of hairs, fibers, drugs, bodily fluids and fingerprints. 

Spectrophotometry works by taking a sample and measuring the intensity of light when a beam passes through it. Since each compound transmits and absorbs light differently, it is possible to identify the true nature of a substance by analyzing this wavelength. Depending on the nature of the sample, it can be studied using either a UV-visible or infrared range spectrophotometer. 

How Is Spectrophotometry Used to Solve Cases?

Spectrophotometry is a gold standard of forensic analysis and is used by the FBI and the American Hazardous Material Response Unit. The spectrophotometric process is essential for telling apart two samples that are nearly indistinguishable. Most forensic analysts use UV/vis spectroscopy to examine inks and fibers and use thin-layer chromatography as a complementary method. 

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WIth spectroscopy, trace evidence including hairs, fibers and glass can be easily analyzed with high accuracy. Even samples as small as a single 10-30 mm fiber can be examined to determine their chemical composition and whether they’re natural or synthetic. Forensic ink examinations are a perfect candidate for spectroscopic analysis. Wavelength examination can identify the unique hues in inks found at the scene and identify whether they’re similar to specific brands of storebought pens. Compared to chromatography, spectrophotometry is a nondestructive and safer alternative for identifying inks. 

Purchase Spectrophotometers From HunterLab

HunterLab has driven the spectrophotometry industry forward for over 60 years, and we’re eager to show you the most impressive forensic spectrophotometers we have. Our equipment is calibrated to the highest quality standards so you can glean invaluable insight from the crime scene and identify even the most challenging evidence. No matter whether you’re comparing textile, fiber, bodily fluid or ink, our efficient products can help you sort through the evidence and finish your investigation as soon as possible.

Contact HunterLab to learn more about our forensic spectrophotometry solutions today.