The application of time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) for the characterisation of gunshot residue (GSR) from 0.22 caliber rimfire ammunition is reported. Results obtained by TOF-SIMS were compared with conventional scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies. As could be expected, TOF-SIMS exhibited greater elemental sensitivity than SEM equipped with energy dispersive X-ray detection (SEM-EDX), and was also capable of detecting fragments characteristic of inorganic compounds. This preliminary study indicates that TOF-SIMS offers substantial potential for forensic GSR examinations as a complementary technique to SEM-EDX. In addition TOF-SIMS is applicable to the analysis of individual particles in the typical size range encountered in GSR casework.
- 0.22 Caliber ammunition
- Gunshot residue
- Scanning electron microscopy
- Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS)