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Taggant materials in forensic science: A review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49–54
JournalTRENDS IN ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
Volume83
Issue numberB
Early online date11 Aug 2016
DOIs
E-pub ahead of print11 Aug 2016
PublishedOct 2016

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Abstract

The use of taggant technology to mark objects for the purpose of identification is becoming a significant part of national crime reduction strategies. Taggants may be able to prevent or monitor criminal offences by associating an object with a specific piece of information. While the material properties of a taggant will largely vary between application purposes, a specific ‘coding’ element will generally be incorporated to infer marker uniqueness. With the speed, simplicity and accuracy of coding component analysis largely determining the overall efficacy of taggants, continuing advances in portable in-field analysis, nanotechnology and material science should have allowed for the development of new and improved forensic marking agents. However, the limited amount of recent research in this area suggests that this is not the case. This critical review therefore examines the current state of presently available taggants before attempting to offer insight into the future direction of forensic marking technology.

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