Forensic analysis of tempered sheet glass by particle induced X-ray emission (PIXE)

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The elemental concentrations of five trace elements in tempered sheet glass fragments were determined using particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) spectrometry. The trace element concentrations for calcium, iron, manganese, strontium, and titanium are compared to those obtained by inductively-coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) following complete digestion by hydrofluoric acid. For these five elements, the absolute concentrations obtained by both methods are shown to agree well over a wide range of concentrations. The limits of detection for trace elements are typically lower for the ICP-AES method. However, we show that the concentrations of these five elements can be accurately measured by the PIXE method. Since PIXE is an entirely non-destructive method, there exists a niche for this technique to be used as a complement to the more sensitive ICP-AES technique in the forensic analysis of sheet glass.