Forensic Chemistry

Forensic chemistry is the application of chemistry and its subfield, forensic toxicology, in a legal setting. A forensic chemist can assist in the identification of unknown materials found at a crime scene. Specialists in this field have a wide array of methods and instruments to help identify unknown substances. These include high-performance liquid chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, atomic absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and thin layer chromatography. The range of different methods is important due to the destructive nature of some instruments and the number of possible unknown substances that can be found at a scene. Forensic chemists prefer using nondestructive methods first, to preserve evidence and to determine which destructive methods will produce the best results.

 

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