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SIMS21, Poland 2017 - Melanie Jane Bailey abstract

Melanie Jane Bailey oral presentation (OA2-Mon3-3-4)

Use of SIMS and related techniques for unsolved problems in forensic science

Melanie Jane Bailey1, Marcel de Puit2, Primož Pelicon3

1 University of Surrey, University of Surrey, GU2 7XH Guildford, United Kingdom
2 Netherlands Forensic Institute, Laan van Ypenburg 6, 2497 GB The Hague, Netherlands
3 Institute “Jožef Stefan”, Jamova 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


Despite its broad uptake in materials science, electronics and other disciplines, SIMS is not routinely used in forensic laboratories. This is in part due to perceived complexity of the technique, the high set up cost and a lack of awareness amongst forensic practitioners. At Surrey we have explored potential applications of SIMS in forensic science, and this has led to the inclusion of SIMS as a potential technique in the Home Office Fingerprint Source book, the manual used by police officers worldwide. Since then, the Netherlands Forensic Institute (the national forensic laboratory of the Netherlands) have become one of the first forensic laboratories to buy their own SIMS instrument for use in casework.

In this presentation, we will report on the use of SIMS for revealing fingerprints on buried objects, monitoring drug use and determining the deposition order of fingerprints and inks. We will also report on a new technique, Direct Analyte Probed Nano Extraction (DAPNe), which we have used in conjunction with SIMS to confirm the identity and location of drugs in hair.