How is infrared spectroscopy used in forensic science?

1 Answer
Jan 27, 2016

Infrared spectroscopy (IR) is used to determine the types of chemicals that may have been used at a crime scene.


It is a very common and useful analytical technique used in a wide variety of studies. Applied to forensics it is most often used to identify organic compounds that may have been accelerants in arson or plastics in structures (cars, furniture, implements) or clothing. Identification of the types of organic chemical bonds in a compound helps us to select likely candidates.

A specific match (fingerprint) of a compound spectra with a source material may provide the evidence necessary to link a particular source to a crime scene.