Gunshot Residue Analysis with Phenom ParticleX GSR Desktop SEM

Gunshot residue (GSR) analysis is a vital process when it comes to determining whether a firearm has been used in a crime. Established GSR analysis techniques are based on a scanning electron microscope (SEM), which is used to scan the sample and find suspect GSR particles. If a suspect particle is found, an energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) technique is then employed to identify the elements in that particle. 

The Thermo Scientific Phenom ParticleX GSR Desktop SEM is the only dedicated SEM specifically designed for gunshot residue analysis. As the system is fully automated, users can speed up the analysis process. There is no need to change the settings each time; users can simply focus on the task at hand. 

The desktop Phenom system's central component is a high-brightness CeB6 source. This means that users can rest assured that it will provide reliable, long-lasting daily use and will not need to be unexpectedly replaced.

The Phenom ParticleX GSR Desktop SEM expedites gunshot residue analysis on-demand, making it easier and more reliable than ever before. Perfect for every busy lab that wants to save time and floor space.

  • Specialized solution for gunshot residue
  • It only requires a modest amount of lab space
  • Stable, round-the-clock operation
  • Long-lasting CeB6 source

Key Features

Reliable, High Throughput Results

The Phenom ParticleX GSR Desktop SEM can handle a scan area of 100 mm x 100 mm thanks to the fully motorized stage.

The automation software utilizes the SEM's internal scan control, enhancing beam positioning accuracy. This capability is particularly beneficial when revisiting particles during the GSR verification phase. A standard GSR sample holder can accommodate up to 30 x 12 mm GSR pin stubs, along with the required calibration samples.


Source: Thermo Fisher Scientific – Electron Microscopy Solutions

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Electron Imaging
  • Long lifetime thermionic source (CeB6)
  • Multiple beam currents
Electron imaging magnification range
  • 160 - 200,000x
Light imaging magnification
  • 3-16x
  • <10 nm
Image resolution options
  • 960 x 600, 1920 x 1200, 3840 x 2400 and 7680 x 4800 pixels
Acceleration voltages
  • Default: 5 kV, 10 kV and 15 kV
  • Advanced mode: adjustable range between 4.8 kV and 20.5 kV imaging and analysis mode
Vacuum levels
  • Low - medium - high
  • Backscattered electron detector (standard)
  • Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) detector (standard)
  • Secondary electron detector (optional)
Sample size
  • Max. 100 mm x 100 mm (up to 36 x 12 mm pin stubs)
  • Max. 40 mm height (optional up to 65 mm)
Sample loading time
  • Light optical <5 s 
  • Electron optical <60 s
Software Specifications
  • Compliant with ASTM E1588
  • Typically ≥ 98% hit rate on plano artificial GSR sample
  • Supports classification of Pb-free ammunition types
  • Automatic calibrations for reproducible results
Reporting workflow
  • Particle relocation, verification and custom report generation

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