Significance of Using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (SEM-EDX) for Analysis of Evidence Material in Forensic Sciences

Jumisree Sarmah Pathak *

Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Teacher Education (IITE), Gandhinagar, India.

Arvind Kumar Saxena

School of Forensic Science, National Forensic Sciences University (NFSU), Gandhinagar, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Forensic applications of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) are found mostly in areas where there is a need for good imaging at relatively high magnifications. SEM enables the forensic scientist to examine specimens at much higher magnification than those possible with optical microscopy and without the difficulties of specimen preparation associated with conventional electron microscope.  Physicochemical examinations of gunshot residues, called also chemical ballistics, are helpful, e.g. in identification of damages and injuries as the effect of the use of firearms (with indicating the entrance and exit of projectile), estimation of the shooting distance and also establishing, whether a person has used a firearm. It is discussed in details that Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) can serve as a powerful tool for forensic scientists to classify and discriminate evidence material because they can simultaneously examine the morphology and the elemental composition of objects.

Keywords: Gunshot residues, elemental analysis, scanning electron microscopy, forensic science

How to Cite

Pathak , J. S., & Saxena , A. K. (2024). Significance of Using Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (SEM-EDX) for Analysis of Evidence Material in Forensic Sciences. Asian Journal of Research and Reviews in Physics, 8(2), 1–11.


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