A compilation of cold cases using scanning electron microscopy at the University of Rhode Island

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Scanning electron microscopy combined with microchemical analysis has evolved into one of the most widely used instruments in forensic science today. In particular, the environmental scanning electron microscope (SEM) in conjunction with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), has created unique opportunities in forensic science in regard to the examination of trace evidence; i.e. the examination of evidence without altering the evidence with conductive coatings, thereby enabling criminalists to solve cases that were previously considered unsolvable. Two cold cases were solved at URI using a JEOL 5900 LV SEM in conjunction with EDS. A cold case murder and a cold missing person case will be presented from the viewpoint of the microscopist and will include sample preparation, as well as image and chemical analysis of the trace evidence using electron microscopy and optical microscopy.

Publication Title

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering