Forensic chemistry or instrumental analysis


Dale D Ensor, Gene Mullins

Author Affiliation: 

Tennessee Tech University





As a result of attending the CWCS Forensic Workshop, a forensic chemistry course at Tennessee Technological University was developed. The course is taught at the junior/senior level with organic chemistry and quantitative analysis as prerequisites. The laboratory portion of the course emphasizes the application of instrumentation to forensic problems and requires students to apply techniques introduced in previous chemistry courses, such as preparation of standards and statistical analysis of data. Experiments, such as the determination of alcohol in blood by GC, illustrate the use of an internal standard for quantification and other quality control / verification aspects. Discussion of types of ionization sources and fragmentation patterns is tied to the extraction of cocaine from money and its determination by GC/MS. The results from several experiments utilized in this course will be presented, along with students' comments about and suggestions for the course.