Evaluation of automotive lenses for forensic applications

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science

First Advisor's Name

José R. Almirall

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Robin Gall

Third Advisor's Name

Kenneth Furton

Date of Defense



Hit and run type accidents often leave trace evidence behind including broken fragments of automotive lenses. In order to improve the evidential value of the forensic examinations of automotive lenses, this study aims to characterize a large number and diverse group of plastic lenses. The five instrumental techniques utilized to assess the physical and chemical characteristics of the plastic lenses were: IR, PGC, Raman, SEMEDS, and LA-ICP-MS. ER was able to differentiate the 225 lenses into 11 groups. PGC was able to differentiate 34 groups from the 152 samples analyzed. Nineteen groups were determined from 101 samples analyzed by Raman. LA-ICP-MS was able to differentiate 29 groups from 80 samples analyzed. SEM-EDS was determined not to be a useful technique for this analysis. The combined discrimination resulted in the differentiation of 54 of the 73 lens samples analyzed. This study concludes that automotive lenses can be useful in forensic work.



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