[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clear coats have been a staple in automobile paints for almost thirty years and are of forensic interest when comparing transferred and native paints. However, the ultraviolet (UV) absorbers in these paint layers are not typically characterized using UV microspectrophotometry, nor are the results studied using multivariate statistical methods. In this study, measurements were carried out by UV microspectrophotometry on 71 samples from American and Australian automobiles, with subsequent chemometric analysis of the absorbance spectra. Sample preparation proved to be vital in obtaining accurate absorbance spectra and a method involving peeling the clear coat layer and not using a mounting medium was preferred. Agglomerative hierarchical clustering indicated three main groups of spectra, corresponding to spectra with one, two, and three maxima. Principal components analysis confirmed this clustering and the factor loadings indicated that a substantial proportion of the variance in the data set originated from specific spectral regions (230-265 nm, 275-285 nm, and 300-370 nm). The three classes were well differentiated using discriminant analysis, where the cross-validation accuracy was 91.6% and the external validation accuracy was 81.1%. However, results showed no correlation between the make, model, and year of the automobiles.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Textile fibers are a key form of trace evidence, and the ability to reliably associate or discriminate them is crucial for forensic scientists worldwide. While microscopic and instrumental analysis can be used to determine the composition of the fiber itself, additional specificity is gained by examining fiber color. This is particularly important when the bulk composition of the fiber is relatively uninformative, as it is with cotton, wool, or other natural fibers. Such analyses pose several problems, including extremely small sample sizes, the desire for nondestructive techniques, and the vast complexity of modern dye compositions. This review will focus on more recent methods for comparing fiber color by using chromatography, spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry. The increasing use of multivariate statistics and other data analysis techniques for the differentiation of spectra from dyed fibers will also be discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trace evidence is a major field within forensic science. Association of trace evidence samples can be problematic due to sample heterogeneity and a lack of quantitative criteria for comparing spectra or chromatograms. The aim of this study is to evaluate different types of instrumentation for their ability to discriminate among samples of various types of trace evidence. Chemometric analysis, including techniques such as Agglomerative Hierarchical Clustering, Principal Components Analysis, and Discriminant Analysis, was employed to evaluate instrumental data. First, automotive clear coats were analyzed by using microspectrophotometry to collect UV absorption data. In total, 71 samples were analyzed with classification accuracy of 91.61%. An external validation was performed, resulting in a prediction accuracy of 81.11%. Next, fiber dyes were analyzed using UV-Visible microspectrophotometry. While several physical characteristics of cotton fiber can be identified and compared, fiber color is considered to be an excellent source of variation, and thus was examined in this study. Twelve dyes were employed, some being visually indistinguishable. Several different analyses and comparisons were done, including an inter-laboratory comparison and external validations. Lastly, common plastic samples and other polymers were analyzed using pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, and their pyrolysis products were then analyzed using multivariate statistics. The classification accuracy varied dependent upon the number of classes chosen, but the plastics were grouped based on composition. The polymers were used as an external validation and misclassifications occurred with chlorinated samples all being placed into the category containing PVC. Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)