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Advanced Carbon-Based Polymeric Nanocomposites for Forensic Analysis

Nanotechnology is a powerful tool and fast-growing research area in many novel arenas, ranging from biomedicine to engineering and energy storage. Nanotechnology has great potential to make a significant positive contribution in forensic science, which deals with the identification and investigation of crimes, finding relationships between pieces of evidence and perpetrators. Nano-forensics is related to the development of nanosensors for crime investigations and inspection of terrorist activity by analyzing the presence of illicit drugs, explosives, toxic gases, biological agents, and so forth. In this regard, carbon nanomaterials have huge potential for next-generation nanosensors due to their outstanding properties, including strength combined with flexibility, large specific surface area, high electrical conductivity, and little noise. Moreover, their combination with polymers can provide nanocomposites with novel and enhanced performance owed to synergy between the composite components. This review concisely recapitulates up-to-date advances in the development of polymer composites incorporating carbon-based nanomaterials for forensic science. The properties of the different carbon nanomaterials, several methods used to analyze functional polymeric nanocomposites, and their applications in forensic investigation are discussed. Furthermore, present challenges and forthcoming outlooks on the design of new polymer/carbon nanomaterial composites for crime prevention are highlighted.

Publication date: 31/08/2022

Author: Ana M. Díez-Pascual

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14173598

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870292.