Scanning electron microscope forensic research



The Phenom desktop SEM systems are commonly used in all-round forensic investigations and forensic analysis to perform ballistic research on diverse forensic evidence like fabrics, metals, textile or glass and also to identify scratches and indents from tool marks, blood, human and animal hair classification or scrutinizing residues such as sand, mud and diatoms.

The Phenom is a desktop scanning electron microscope (SEM) which combines the high magnification of electron microscopy with the ease of use of optical microscopy to improve performance in a tabletop instrument.
The Phenom, a tabletop SEM provides useful magnifications up to 100,000x is easy to use as the typical laboratory-grade optical microscopes. The use of SEM in the forensic market can be of great value.
Some of the key applications in forensic research are listed below.

Crime scene investigations
If a crime scene contains microscopic samples like hair, diatoms, pollen, these can be easily identified with electron microscopes.

Diatoms and pollen analysis can be useful in forensic science by helping identify the provenance of individuals, clothing or materials recovered from investigation sites. When identifying criminal suspects and victims or when associating them with a specific location, forensics hair analysis can be of crucial value in a criminal investigation. Hairs can be transferred during physical contact; their presence can associate a suspect to a victim or a suspect/victim to a crime scene. Comparison of the microscopic characteristics of questioned hairs to known hair samples helps determine whether a transfer may have occurred.

hair human asian    diatom0001

Gunshot residue (GSR)
GSR is the residue deposited on and around the body of the shooter after a bullet has been fired. Detection of a significant amount of residue, therefore, is a powerful piece of forensic evidence that the particular person was very near to or even holding the gun when it discharged.





Traffic accidents
Scanning electron microscopy is often used in investigating forensic evidence where a traffic incident has resulted in serious injury.
With the Phenom desktop SEM, forensics investigators can easily image a light bulb filament and perform elemental analysis. If a vehicle headlight, rear light or indicator is on at the time of an accident, the lamp filament will be hot and glass particles will melt onto it. Different glass particles can be showed and analyzed with the desktop SEM and used as a proof when investigating causes of accidents.   

See below links to other markets and applications where the Phenom desktop SEM is used:

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