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Cathodoluminescence Microscopy - Microtrace

Cathodoluminescence Microscopy

Cathodoluminescence (CL), the emission of visible light from a sample (semi-conductor) following excitation by an electron beam, is observed in a variety of materials commonly encountered as forensic trace evidence including soil, glass, and manufactured products such as paint and tape that use inorganic filler/extenders. In these materials, luminescence is directly related to trace elements and defects of the mineral component, which in turn is characteristic of the geologic (for natural) or processing (for manmade) history of the particular sample.

Microtrace scientists have conducted some of the most extensive studies into forensic applications of CL, having authored a book chapter on the topic and presented numerous talks around the world on the applications of cathodoluminescence to forensic science.

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