A novel method for the identification of inorganic and organic gunshot residue particles of lead-free ammunitions from the hands of shooters using scanning laser ablation-ICPMS and Raman micro-spectroscopy†
A method based on scanning laser ablation and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (SLA-ICPMS) and Raman micro-spectroscopy for the detection and identification of compounds consistent with gunshot residue particles (GSR) has been developed. The method has been applied to the characterization of particles resulting from the discharge of firearms using lead-free ammunition. Modified tape lifts were used to collect the inorganic and organic residues from skin surfaces in a single sample. Using SLA-ICPMS, aggregates related to the composition of the ammunition, such as Cu–Zn–Sn, Zr–Sr, Cu–Zn, Al–Ti, or Al–Sr–Zr were detected, but this composition is only consistent with GSR from lead-free ammunitions. Additional evidence was provided by micro-Raman spectroscopy, which identified the characteristic organic groups of the particles as centralite, diphenylamine or their nitrated derivatives, which are indicative of GSR.