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X-ray image of flash powder
X-ray image of flash powder sample on carbon substrate

We use a variety of measurement tools to gain a full understanding of current drug and explosive threats. Particle size, chemical composition, morphology, crystallinity and spatial distribution are measured using a combination of scanning electron microscopy, optical and fluorescence microscopy, x ray and fluorescence spectroscopy, imaging mass spectrometry and imaging Raman. Information about the physical and chemical properties of these materials is used to support standard test material development as well as optimal sampling strategies for each threat.


“Microscopy to Support Trace Screening of Contraband, Including Explosives and Illicit Drugs” Jennifer R Verkouteren and  Edward Sisco, Microscopy and Microanalysis, 24, 1170-1171 (2018).

“Quantifying the stability of trace explosives under different environmental conditions using electrospray ionization mass spectrometry”, E Sisco, M Najarro, D Samarov and  J Lawrence,  Talanta, 165, 10-17 (2017).

“Cathodoluminescence and DART Mass Spectrometry for the Forensic Identification of Explosive and Narcotic Particle Residues on Surfaces”, Scott Wight and Greg Gillen, Microscopy and Microanalysis, 20(S3), 920-921, (2014).

“Particle Characteristics of Trace High Explosives: RDX and PETN”, Jennifer Verkouteren, J Forensic Sci 52(2), 335-40 (2007).


Created August 21, 2020