Research

There is a critical and recognized need for rapid and potentially field portable forensic methodologies to alleviate casework backlogs caused by budget cuts and increased demand on forensic investigators. In that vein, my research goals to date have focused on the forensic analysis of gunshot residues (GSR) by Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). We envision LIBS as combining the selectivity of multi-element analysis and the sensitivity of workhorse laboratory instrumentation into a presumptive field test. A commercially available LIBS spectrometer is small and potentially field portable because it can be easily mounted onto mobile investigative units. Criminal investigators may use LIBS to determine the elemental composition of a suspect sample, obtaining results within seconds. Therefore, LIBS could provide necessary presumptive evidence, allowing investigators to obtain a search warrant or progress a criminal investigation. The scope of my research is to provide investigators with a chemical fingerprint for GSR by LIBS, to determine the amount of time that detectable amounts of GSR are recovered from a shooter, and to fully characterize the rates of error for shooters, non-shooters, and suspects working in high-risk occupations. In my lab, we address numerous goals of applied research and development; specifically the examination of chemical properties of evidence of the purpose of identifying source (GSR) and study the behavior of chemical compounds of forensic interest to better understand aged and/or time sensitive evidence.

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Figure 1. Block Diagram of LIBS System.

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Figure 2. OOI LIBS 2000+ Spectrometer with Big Sky 50 mJ pulsed Nd:YAG laser.

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Figure 3A. Sample taken from a volunteer who is known to be free of gunshot residue overlaid with a positive GSR test 72 hours after firearm discharge.

Figure 3B. Barium (II) emission at 455.403 nm used as the analytical wavelength for sample taken from a volunteer who is known to be free of gunshot residue and a positive GSR test 72 hours after firearm discharge.

Publications

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles: * Indicates Undergraduate Students. # Indicates Graduate Students.

  1. L.A. Fambro#, D.D. Vandenbos#, M.B. Rosenberg, and C.R. Dockery, "Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for the Rapid Characterization of Lead-Free Gunshot Residues," Applied Spectroscopy. 2017. 71(4), 699-708.

  2. Z. Lu, C.R. Dockery, M. Crosby*, K. Chavarria*, B. Patterson*, and M. Giedd*, "Antibacterial Activities of Wasabi Against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Staphylococcus aureus," Frontiers in Microbiology. 2016. 7:1403.
  3. C.J. Raymond#, J. Farmer*, and C.R. Dockery, “Thermogravimetric Analysis of Target Inhibitors for the Spontaneous Self-Heating of Coal,” Combustion Science and Technology. 2016. 188(8), 1249-1261.

  4. L.A. Fambro#, E.T. Miller*, D.D. Vandenbos*, and C.R. Dockery, “Characterization of Lead-Free Gunshot Residue Analogs,” Analytical Methods. 2016. 8(15), 3132-3139.

  5. C.R. Dockery, J.H. Shugart, J.D. Parker*, W.J. Lawson*, A. Monis*, C. Maselka*, J. Foster*, E. Gricius*, and P. Colasurd*, “Accidental Poison: Analysis of 1,4-Butanediol in a Popular Children’s Arts and Crafts Toy,” The Chemical Educator. 2015. 20, 1-3.

  6. C.R. Dockery and G.E. Potts, “Millennial Students in Undergraduate Chemistry”, ACS Symposium Series: Addressing the Millennial Student in Undergraduate Chemistry. 2014. 1180, 1-10.

  7. C. R. Dockery, M. B. Rosenberg*, K. Kammerdiener*, L. E. McAdams*, N. A. Brutto*, J. Turner*, M. H. Chowdhury*, and M. K. Kiambuthi*, "The Occurrence of False Positive Tests for Gunshot Residue Based on Simulations of the Suspect's Occupation," Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research. 2011, 10(3), 107-110.

  8. C. R. Dockery, J. Turner*, M. B. Rosenberg*, K. Kammerdiener*, and S. W. Mungai*, "Gunshot Residue Analysis in the Undergraduate Laboratory Using Toy Cap Guns," Spectroscopy Letters. 2010, 43(7), 534-538. Invited Special Issue on Spectroscopy in Undergraduate Education.

  9. B. Huskins* and C. R. Dockery, "Detection of Psilocybin Mushroom Analogs in Chocolate: Incorporating Current Events into the Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory," the Chemical Educator. 2009, 14(6), 236-238 .

  10. J. L. Shaw, C. R. Dockery, S. E. Lewis, L. Harris*, and R. Bettis*, “The Trans Effect:  A guided inquiry experiment for upper-division inorganic chemistry,” Journal of Chemical Education. 2009, 86(12), 1416-1418.

  11. A. R. Stefan, C. R. Dockery, A. A. Nieuwland, S. N. Roberson*, B. M. Baguley. J. E. Hendrix, and S. L. Morgan, “Forensic analysis of anthraquinone, azo, and metal complex acid dyes from nylon fibers by micro-extraction and capillary electrophoresis,” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 2009, 394(8), 2077-2085. Invited Special Issue on Forensic Analysis.

  12.  A. R. Stefan, C. R. Dockery, B. M. Baguley, B. C. Vann, A. A. Nieuwland, J. E. Hendrix, and S. L. Morgan, “Microextraction, capillary electrophoresis, and mass spectrometry for forensic analysis of azo and methine basic dyes from acrylic fibers,” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 2009, 394(8), 2087-2094. Invited Special Issue on Forensic Analysis.

  13. C. R. Dockery,  A. R. Stefan, A. A. Nieuwland, S. N. Roberson*, B. M. Baguley, J. E. Hendrix, and S. L. Morgan, “Automated extraction of direct, reactive, and vat dyes from cellulosic fibers for forensic analysis by capillary electrophoresis,” Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry. 2009, 394(8), 2095-2103. Invited Special Issue on Forensic Analysis.

  14. M. B. Rosenberg* and C. R. Dockery, “Determining the Lifetime of Detectable Amounts of Gunshot Residue on the Hands of a Shooter Using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy,” Applied Spectroscopy.2008, 62(11), 1238-1241.

  15. C. R. Dockery, M. J. Blew* and S. R. Goode, “Visualizing the Solute Vaporization Interference in Flame Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy,” Journal of Chemical Education. 2008, 85(6), 854-858.

  16. C. R. Dockery, J. E. Pender, and S. R. Goode, “Speciation of Chromium via Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy of Ion Exchange Polymer Membranes,” Applied Spectroscopy. 2005, 59(2), 252-257.

  17. C. R. Dockery and S. R. Goode, “Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy for the Detection of Gunshot Residues on the Hands of a Shooter,” Applied Optics. 2003, 42(30), 6153–6158.

  18. S. R. Goode, C. R. Dockery, M. F. Bachmeyer*, A. A. Nieuwland, and S. L. Morgan, “Detecting Gunshot Residue by Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy,” Trends in Optics and Photonics. 2002, 81, 175-177.

Ph.D. Dissertation:

C. R. Dockery, “Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy: Sampling Techniques for Forensic and Environmental Applications,” 2005, 150 pp.

Other Published Works:

G.E. Potts and C.R. Dockery, 2014. Addressing the Millennial Student in Undergraduate Chemistry. ACS Symposium Series 1180. American Chemical Society: Washington, DC. ISBN: 9780841230132.

C. Dockery and J. Cody, 2009. Instructor’s Manual to Accompany Chemistry: Principles and Practice, 3rd Edition, Brooks/Cole Cengage Learning. ISBN: 0495559776.

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