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Special Programs Office
100 Bureau Drive, Stop 4701
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8102
301-975-2756 or

NIST Forensic Science — Trace Evidence/Chemistry

 Broken Glass
Credit: iStock
Small amounts of chemicals, such as gunshot residue or explosives, can remain on a suspects hands or clothing. Bits of fiber, strands of hair, or flecks of paint are also often left at or carried from a crime scene. This trace evidence can be used to associate items and identify suspects through their clothing, hair or other materials. NIST researchers develop measurement methods that enable accurate detection and analysis of tiny amounts of evidence. They also create Standard Reference Materials and data to help forensic science laboratories validate the accuracy of their measurements.

Research Projects

Data and Standards


Scientific Staff Members