Analysis of trace evidence involved in sexual assault investigations holds considerable potential as a newer avenue of identification when bulk, larger evidence is not found or unreliable. Trace analysis of forensic materials involves common findings such as strands of hair, residues left on clothing, shards of paint or glass, etc. In recent research focused on the analysis of trace materials found as evidence in a sexual assault, there has been promise in condom and bottled lubricant classification based on their chemical profiles that can provide an associative link in an investigation. Few studies have considered the examination of lubricant evidence at a trace level as it may be found on a crime scene or a victim. In this study, a new protocol will be tested and established to analyze trace lubricant evidence recovered from a fabric substrate, such as underwear, after sexual assaults using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. An experiment is proposed to examine the comparison of the spectra resulting from FTIR spectroscopic analysis of bulk and trace level lubricants recovered from a cotton substrate. The resulting spectra will be compared for their similarities using multivariate statistical techniques to test the viability of the approach.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Bandarupalli, Tanmai, "Analysis of Lubricants at Trace Levels Using Infrared Spectroscopy" (2021). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1032.