The Science of Trace Evidence

For over 25 years, clients around the world have put their trust in our skill and discretion to solve their most delicate problems.
Microtrace is a materials analysis laboratory, specializing in the characterization and identification of small quantities and single small particles of unknown substances, using a combination of state-of-the-art instrumentation and techniques based on microscopy and microchemistry. Our analytical approach is sample driven, which allows us to provide solutions to problems outside or beyond the scope of typical in-house, commercial or forensic laboratories. Since 1992, we have provided analytical support in criminal and civil litigation, to the insurance, pharmaceutical, food, environmental and manufacturing industries, as well as clients in art, collectibles, and antiquities.

News from Microtrace

Forensic lab that’s identified serial killers is inspecting evidence in 1960 Starved Rock killings

Chicago Sun Times Article on Microtrace's recent work inspecting evidence in 1960 Starved Rock killings. Read More

Microtrace Provides Expert Soil Testimony at Trial

Microtrace founder Skip Palenik provides expert trace evidence soil testimony at trial. Read More

OSAC Appointments

Microtrace now has four scientists on the OSAC Trace Materials subcommittee: Dr. Christopher Palenik, Dr. Jack Hietpas, Ethan Groves, and Jason Beckert. Read More

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Recent Publications

Jason Beckert Speaks to Santa Clara University School of Law

On February 11, 2021, Jason Beckert gave a remote guest lecture to the Santa Clara University School of Law on Trace Evidence. Read More

Asian Forensic Sciences Network Guest Speaker

On 11 November 2020, the Trace Evidence Working Group of AFSN held a Forensic Science Symposium. Invited speaker Skip Palenik presented "An Introduction to Forensic Hair & Fiber Microscopy with Special Attention to Databases.” Read More

Article: Characterization of Aluminum Powders in IEDs

"Characterization and differentiation of aluminum powders used in improvised explosive devices" Co-authored by Jack Hietpas, Ph.D. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2020 Read More

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