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Whenever a gun is fired, particles from the bullet, propellant, gun and primer are deposited on the shooter's hand, clothes and environment through the cloud of smoke created by the explosion inside the gun.
These particles range in size from 100 µm down to 0.5 µm and contain very characteristic chemical compounds. Gunshot residue analysis with a Phenom scanning electron microscope (SEM) is used to search for these particles automatically, and to characterise and classify them using EDS analysis. The Phenom SEM is a vital tool in crime labs for gathering forensic evidence in cases where firearms are involved.