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.

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Identification of an Unknown Smear: Deodorant

Our laboratory was asked to identify an unknown material on a shirt. We characterized the material using a variety of techniques. After careful consideration and comparison, we determined that the unknown material originated from an antiperspirant. Read More

Recovering Indented Writing by ESDA

Writing can cause indentations on paper underlying an original document. The technique of ESDA allows indentations from prior writing to be developed and visualized by transforming them into visible contrast. This can reveal letters, numbers, words, or characters. Read More

Visualizing TiO2 and Pigments in Paint and Polymers by Microscopy

Microtrace has conducted much research on pigments in paint, fibers, and polymers. Titanium dioxide, in the form of rutile or anatase is probative and can be analyzed by Raman, SEM, and TEM. Read More

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Recent Publications

Microtrace Article: Glass Analysis by X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry

New article in Forensic Chemistry (Dec 2022, v.31) "Evaluation of the performance of modern X-ray fluorescence spectrometry systems for the forensic analysis of glass," co-authored by Joseph Insana. Read More

Inter/Micro 2022 Displays Microtrace’s Analytical Versatility

This week nine Microtrace scientists are presenting papers during Inter/Micro 2022- the premier international microscopy conference. These papers cover a broad range of materials and techniques. Read More

Forensic Microscopy: Problem Solving through Microanalysis

This Friday, September 16th 2022, Christopher Palenik will present "Forensic Microscopy: Problem Solving through Microanalysis." to the Midwest Microscopy and Microanalysis Society, during its Fall meeting. Read More

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