Forensics & Security

Gunshot Residue

Gunshot residues (GSR) are produced and deposited on the person who discharges a firearm and in its proximity. Tests of skin and clothes for the presence of gun-residual particles help to determine if a person was near the discharge. The chemical composition of GSR is determined by the primer. Most of ammunition uses primer composed of lead styphnate, barium nitrate and antimony sulfide; therefore, particles composed of Pb, Ba and Sb are used as an indicator for GSR. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy is the standard method for the GSR analysis. Though reliable, SEM is time-consuming and offers a very low throughput. Owing to its simultaneous multi-element detection capabilities, the icpTOF can not only identify GSR particles based on their Pb-Ba-Sb fingerprint, but it can also provide better statistics and potentially quantify particle number concentration.  Contact us to see demonstration data and discuss this application.



From airport security and cargo inspection to protecting public spaces such as arenas, the demand for fast, accurate detection and classification of explosives residue is growing.  Coupled to innovative sampling and ion source systems capable of efficiently sampling the residue and introducing the gas- and/or aerosol-phase material, TOFWERK offers robust, field-deployable mass spectrometers for increased specificity and accuracy for the measurement of explosive residues. Contact us to discuss ongoing developments in this field.


Illicit Drugs

Detection of illicit drugs and metabolites provides intelligence that is crucial for drug enforcement, police investigations, and forensics. Potent drugs are often present in trace amounts, detectable only with sensitive analytical methods. To bring useful for law enforcement, the employed analytical methods must also be fast, and able to separate the compounds of interest from complicated background matrices. The TOFWERK Vocus PTR-TOF is a powerful tool for real-time detection and quantification of drugs with unprecedented sensitivities.

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