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Spectroscopic techniques are widely used in forensic laboratories for quantitative and qualitative analysis. This article provides an overview of the spectroscopic techniques most commonly encountered in forensic laboratories. Infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, x-ray fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy, energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy are used mainly for identification or characterization of substances. Visible and ultraviolet spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy, and atomic emission spectroscopy are used mainly for measurement of substances or elements. Some techniques can be used for both identification and measurement. Related techniques such as molecular fluorescence, chemiluminescence, and synchrotron techniques are also discussed.
This article is a revision of the previous edition article by K.P. Kirkbride, volume 1, pp. 179–191, © 2000, Elsevier Ltd.
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