Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science

First Advisor's Name

Jose Almirall

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Yi Xiao

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-Chair

Third Advisor's Name

Anthony DeCaprio

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

DeEtta Mills

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


capillary microextraction of volatiles (CMV), gunshot residue, GC-MS, cryofocusing, headspace extraction

Date of Defense



The capillary microextraction of volatiles (CMV) device was equipped with a novel Peltier cooler to investigate cryofocused extraction of organic gunshot residue (OGSR) for the first time. Prior research demonstrated the CMV’s capabilities for detecting nitroglycerin, 2,4-dinitrotoluene, diphenylamine, and ethyl centralite on shooters’ hands via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Further method development increased the recoveries of these four target compounds with an optimal 20-minute equilibrium time at 80˚C followed by extracting 3 L at a 1 L/min flow rate. The Cryo-CMV was evaluated for detection of semi-volatile OGSR compounds. The unique challenges presented with sampling of semi-volatiles were overcome by sample heating, applying high (>1 L/min) sampling flow rates and heating the transfer line between the container and cooled CMV. Cryofocusing at -10˚C provided increased recoveries for smokeless powders and OGSR compounds and therefore demonstrates excellent potential for other forensic applications with analysis of VOCs from fire debris and illicit drugs.





Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI:
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).