Standard Article

X-Ray Fluorescence in Forensic Science

Forensic Science

  1. Claude Roux1,
  2. Chris Lennard2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a1124

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Roux, C. and Lennard, C. 2006. X-Ray Fluorescence in Forensic Science. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

  2. 2

    Australian Federal Police, Canberra, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 MAR 2013)


This article describes the applications of X-ray fluorescence (XRF) as an analytical tool in forensic science, including limitations and practical aspects. The use of XRF is specifically discussed for the forensic analysis of materials of forensic interest such as metals, gunshot residues (GSR), paint, glass, soil, fibers, plastic and general polymers, and miscellaneous types of evidence. Recent developments such as 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 it can be anticipated that they will find increasing use in forensic laboratories in the future.