MITRE's R&D in Nanoforensics

MITRE’s Nanosystems Group is pioneering research and development into nanoforensics.  Nanoforensics is an emerging technology that combines advances in nanotechnology, microfabricaton, metrology, and materials science to realize nano-enabled materials and nanotechnology-based methods that may be used for criminal investigation as well as verification and monitoring applications.  These applications include improved measurement and analysis techniques, chain-of-custody monitoring and control, tamper indication, advanced forensic methods, quality assurance, quality control, and advanced taggants.  

There are a number of factors driving the development of nanoforensics.  Technology drivers include advances in microfabrication, nanofabrication, materials processing, metrology, and analysis to realize new detection methods as well as nano-enabled systems with complex integrated functionality.  The forensic science community is also driving development of nanoforensics due to the need to improve evidence handling methods and laboratory best practices. 

There also are significant industrial and commercial factors driving the development of nanoforensics.  Counterfeiting, for example, is a costly and dangerous problem and is rampant in industrial, medical, and consumer goods. Further, in today’s complex globalized manufacturing environments there is a need to develop improved methods for quality assurance and quality control. Nanoforensics can help address these problems. 

MITRE’s Nanosystems Group is leading systematic research and development of nanoforensics. This includes:

  • Continuing review and analysis of this emerging technology, its developmental drivers (technological and otherwise), and its developing applications
  • Advising the Government on developing new forensic techniques
  • Laboratory research using the resources of MITRE’s Bio-Nanotechnology Laboratory to develop nano-enabled micro taggants

This research is conducted by MITRE senior scientists and student researchers through the Nanosystems Group Student Program.

Page last updated: November 22, 2010   |   Top of page

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