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2015 Abstracts

Analytical Chemistry Applications for Ionic Liquids as Novel Solvents

Mattie Jones, Dixie State University

Physical Sciences

Current techniques for isolating components of samples found at crime scenes by their unique chemical properties are lengthy and often destroy important forensic evidence. New methods aimed at forensic analysis of sensitive, minute samples are critical to the intelligence community. In particular, successful extraction of dyes from materials found at crime scenes will provide innumerable benefits for matching, identifying, and finding origins of these materials and dyes. Ionic liquids possess the necessary chemical properties to ensure efficient extractions while maintaining the forensic signatures of the original materials. Ionic liquids, which are organic salts that are room temperature, provide a versatile solvent to achieve single-component extraction-separation-identification of forensic analytes. Following extraction, successful identification by infrared, absorption, and fluorescence spectroscopy has provided evidence of preserved quality and complete separation of material and dye. This novel approach to forensic analysis is advantageous particularly when sample sizes are extremely limited, but it can be readily scaled to larger applications. Developing a simple and affordable method of achieving specific molecular interactions provides a solution for often unidentifiable evidence in crimes. Harnessing the versatility of ionic liquids in a high-yielding recovery and efficient single-pot methods will enhance forensic abilities for the intelligence community and forensic investigators.