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Analysis Service

The Forensic Chemistry Division performs precise examination on the coidentity of industrial products and specialty products and estimation of the country of origin by using chemical composition profiling through isotopes, trace elements and multi-element analysis. The division contributes to scientific investigations by providing a direction to initial investigations with analysis of micro-evidence such as fiber, soil, and paint and performing analysis related to chemical safety accidents, flammable substances, harmful gases, blood alcohol, toner and writing supplies, geology, etc.

  • Analysis on
    Micro-evidence

    Interchange of fibers, paint, and polymers and examination on coidentity

  • Chemical Composition Profiling

    Examination on coidentity and tracking the country of origin of the evidence using stable isotope analysis and trace multi-element analysis

  • Analysis on Blood Alcohol

    Analysis of blood alcohol concentration in drunk driving, traffic accidents, and death cases

  • Analysis on Hazardous Chemicals

    Analysis on acids, alkalis, hazardous chemicals, environmental pollutants, harmful gases

  • Analysis on Volatile Substances

    Flammable liquids, organic solvents, ketone bodies, illicit oils

Introduction of Laboratory

The Forensic Chemistry Division consists of a Micro-Evidence Research Lab, which analyzes micro-evidence, Chemical Composition Profiling Lab, which determines coidentity and the country of origin using the stable isotope ratio and content of trace multi-element, Blood Alcohol Research Lab, which analyzes blood alcohol and metabolites, Hazardous Chemical Research Lab, which examines harmful gases and various chemical agents, and Volatile Substance Research Lab, which analyzes oil and volatile substances in fire cases, etc.


01 Chemical Composition Profiling

Analysis of coidentity, authenticity, and country of origin using chemical composition profiling All products have their own characteristics (chemical fingerprint) that is unique to the stable isotope ratio and the contents of multi-elements and trace elements, depending on the raw materials used and manufacturing environment. They are used to track the coidentity and manufacturer of industrial products such as paint, tape, clothing, and glass and to examine the coidentity of the county of origin of specialty products. Chemical composition profiling can also enable to determine the authenticity of precious metals such as diamonds, gold, and silver, the falsification of documents and art works by analysis of pigment, ink, toner, paper, and inkpad, theft of agricultural products, and coidentity of soil associated with an abandoned dead body.
Database management and information tracking using chemical composition profiling
The laboratory has established a database of glass, soil, tape, etc. by using chemical composition profiling, which is used for presumption of the type of glass and usage and identification of the country of origin whether ginseng is made in Korea or in China with the stable isotope ratio of each region. In addition, it performs research to obtain various information including gender, propensity, history and occupation by analyzing stable isotopes and trace elements contained in hair, bones, etc., and research to track pollution sources using stable isotope ratio, and actively constructs a database for various industrial products.

Various goods for analysis

  • Artwork
  • Gold Bar
  • Soil
  • Pieces of Glass
02 Micro-Evidence Research Lab

Analysis of Micro-evidence, Examination and Research on Coidentity, etc.
The Micro-Evidence Research Lab performs analysis on trace evidence that is very small and is not visible with the naked eye, which is left behind at various incident and accident sites such as murder, robbery, theft, crash, etc. with various analysis equipment. Typically, micro-evidence includes fiber, resin, paint, and foreign matters. Micro-evidence is too small for criminals to recognize and hide and is analyzed by using high-tech equipment such as infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), visible spectrophotometer (MSP), Raman spectrophotometer (Raman), and X-ray diffractometer (XRD) with a microscope (stereoscopic microscope, high magnification microscope, polarizing microscope, etc.). The laboratory makes a decisive contribution to the resolution of cases by analyzing the evidence more precisely and accurately and using the results for reconstruction of the cases.

Observation and photos of micro-evidence through a stereoscopic microscope

Morphological analysis of micro-evidence through a polarizing microscope

Analysis and Research on Condom Components Related to Sexual Crimes

  • If it is impossible to perform genetic testing on the evidence related to sex crimes, the condom components that are important to prove sexual offenses are analyzed.

Analysis of condom components using a polarizing microscope

Establishment of a Database Necessary for Analysis on Micro-Evidence

  • In addition to the previously established micro-evidence test methods, the laboratory performs a variety of tasks including continuous research on establishment of test methods for various micro-evidence and database building by collecting standard products of all sorts of industrial products necessary for analysis on micro-evidence.
03 Blood Alcohol Research Lab

* Tasks on blood alcohol concentration related to drunk driving and traffic accidents
Analysis on blood alcohol test results is a very important analysis in the forensic chemistry field since the level of judiciary's punishment varies depending on the result value of the test with regard to drunk driving and traffic accidents, which is a very sensitive issue. By developing its own blood sampling kit and obtaining a patent, the laboratory makes sure to prevent problems such as contamination and blood clotting that may occur in the course of transport and storage in advance. Even with periodic control and enlightenment, the number of analyses related to drunk driving is increasing each year. In 2007, the laboratory built a pre-processing automation system for blood alcohol analysis to improve the laboratory environment as well as respond quickly, accurately and actively to the analysis tasks.

Alcohol concentration measurement and ketone analysis for dead bodies

  • The laboratory confirms the alcohol concentration and measures the content related to decomposition index substances and drinking in blood and other tissues of a dead body. It performs ketone analysis, which is an index substance for chronic alcoholism, diabetes, etc., and contributes to solving the cause of death.
  • Blood Sampling Kit for Control
  • Standard Substances for Analysis on Blood Alcohol
04 Hazardous Chemical Research Lab

Tasks on Hazardous Heavy Metals & Chemical Agents such as Acids and Alkalis, etc.
The Hazardous Chemical Research Lab examines the presence and concentration of heavy metals in water, soil and waste affected by environmental pollution to determine whether or not it is contaminated. It also analyzes the components of chemical agents from biological samples, related to illegal leakage or spraying, suicide/homicide, or poisoning cases including misuse and abuse, etc., and other materials.

Tasks on Environmental Hazardous Substances

  • The laboratory traces the source of discharge and determines contamination to identify the cause of occurrence by analyzing environmental samples in the case of environmental accidents such as unauthorized discharge of wastewater, illegal dumping of waste, damage to crops, and abandonment of aquatic products.

Tasks on Dead Bodies

  • The laboratory estimates the cause of death by measuring the electrolyte concentration in the blood, etc.
  • Carbon monoxide in the blood of a deceased associated with a fire or suicide
  • It measures hemoglobin and determines the cause of the accident such as suicide or homicide, etc.
05 Volatile Substance Research Lab

Analysis and evaluation of volatile substances in fire accidents
The Volatile Substance Research Lab analyzes flammable materials from fire residue around the ignition source to determine whether it is a case of arson and checks whether fire-related specific materials such as residue of flammable material, carbide or molten mark are attached to clothing, shoes, hands, etc. of a suspected arsonist. In addition, through analysis of the form and composition of the collected evidence, it examines and evaluates spontaneous ignition or ignition conditions as well as the products generated by pyrolysis of polymer materials in the fire residue.

Analysis and evaluation of illicit oil related to petroleum products

  • The Volatile Substance Research Lab analyzes and evaluates the authenticity of oil manufactured by mixing another petroleum product or petrochemical product to a certain petroleum product as well as alternative fuels.

Analysis and evaluation of chemical agents for chemical accidents

  • The laboratory analyzes and evaluates the causative material of an accident when an explosion or a fire occurs during the chemical process, and promptly implements an on-site assessment in the event of a chemical leak accident.

Analysis and evaluation on harmful gases for harmful gas poisoning accidents

  • The laboratory identifies the cause of various safety accidents by harmful gases and analyzes and evaluates the gas that caused a poisoning accident or gas suicide.


Lab Photo

Laboratory Equipment

Laboratory Equipment

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XRD

  • Analysis of information about the atomic and molecular structures of crystals using the diffraction of X-rays incident into the crystals
  • High-performance, non-destructive analysis for the analysis of material structure such as cement, rocks, metals, inorganic matters, and polymers

Laboratory Equipment

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IR/MS

  • Analysis of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and sulfur isotope ratio
  • Analysis of coidentity of industrial products
  • Tracking the origin and environmental pollutant source

Laboratory Equipment

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Raman

  • Analysis of non-destructive components of organic, inorganic and polymeric materials such as fibers, dyes, pigments, soil, paint, resins, plastics, and tapes
  • Analysis of constituents of water-soluble matters to be analyzed

Laboratory Equipment

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IC-MS/MS

  • Identification of acid/alkali components and determination of the content
  • Identification of sulfide ion and its concentration in human derivatives of death from asphyxiation by hydrogen sulfide
  • Confirmation of electrolyte concentration in blood
  • Identification of organic acids and sugars and their contents

Laboratory Equipment

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LA-ICP-MS

  • Measurement of concentrations of main elements and trace elements
  • Measurement of concentrations of ink, hair, glass, metal, etc.
  • Standard contents of harmful heavy metals

Major Analysis Cases

Major Analysis Cases

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2004.03
불임치료목적으로 복용한 반묘(cantharides)에
의한 사망사건

강원도 원주시 한의원에서 불임치료목적으로 지은 한약, 한약가루약(일명 반묘가루) 및 한약추출액을 혼합하여 마신 직후 환자가 사망하였으며, 감정결과 위 내용물 및 혈액에서 칸타리 딘(cantharidin)이 검출됨. 칸타리딘은 반묘의 주성분으로 치사량이 10mg이고 과량복용시 복통, 이질, 토혈, 혈뇨, 혈압 저하 등에 이어 사망한다고 알려져 있음