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X-Ray Fluorescence in Forensic Science

Forensic Science

  1. Claude Roux1,
  2. Regina Verena Taudte1,
  3. Chris Lennard2

Published Online: 15 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a1124.pub2

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Roux, C., Taudte, R. V. and Lennard, C. 2013. X-Ray Fluorescence in Forensic Science . Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

  2. 2

    University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2013


This article describes the applications of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) as an analytical tool in forensic science, including its limitations and practical aspects. The use of XRF is specifically discussed for the analysis of materials of forensic interest such as metals, gunshot residues (GSRs), paint, glass, soil, fibers, plastic and general polymers, documents, and miscellaneous types of evidence. Developments such as biological tissues micro-XRF, 3-D micro-XRF — an adaptation of micro-XRF — and total XRF are also described. These specialized techniques have highly desirable characteristics for the elemental profiling of a wide range of forensic samples, and hence we can anticipate that they will find significant use in forensic laboratories in the future.