Date of Award

Summer 8-29-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science



First Advisor

Thomas A. Kubic

Second Reader

Nicholas Petraco

Third Advisor

John Lombardi


The goal of this study was to determine whether differentiation between 20 visually similar light brown synthetic wig fibers was possible with the use of a microspectrophotometer (MSP). Visually similar fibers were chosen to display the power of the instrument over the human eye. An MSP is an instrument that has the ability to aid in the analysis of certain microscopical samples. With this particular instrument one is able to collect the absorption and fluorescence spectra of microscopical colored samples without destroying the piece of evidence itself. Prior to any analysis with the MSP, the material of the fibers was verified through FT-IR ATR, as well as their optical properties. Using a lab-assembled MSP the absorbance measurements were obtained perpendicular and on a 45-degree angle to the polarizer. After the absorbance measurements were complete the fibers were then exposed to fluorescent light with UV, blue, and green excitation filter combinations. No single fiber displayed the exact same spectra to another, allowing differentiation. Especially when combining the information obtained through the absorbance measurements and the three excitation filter combinations, differentiation of all 20 visually similar light brown synthetic wig fibers was possible.



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