New Wave system appears on TV crime show

May 15, 2006
FREMONT, CA-Millions of TV viewers worldwide now have a better understanding of Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and its crime-solving capabilities.

FREMONT, CA-Millions of TV viewers worldwide now have a better understanding of Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and its crime-solving capabilities. For the second season in a row, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has relied on the technology to nab the right suspect.

Last season, LA-ICP-MS was tapped to identify the makeup of a near-microscopic shard discovered at a crime scene (the shard was too small for the capabilities of conventional forensic techniques). In LA-ICP-MS, and as depicted on CSI, a pulsed laser vaporizes a minute amount of a solid sample. A gas stream carries the sample vapor into a high-temperature plasma where it is ionized before extraction into the mass spectrometer for analysis. Coupled with a mass spectrometer, the LA-ICP-MS system can readily differentiate between samples with physical, chemical and visual similarities.

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