About Inquifor

The Research Group in Forensic Chemistry (INQUIFOR) at the University of Alcalá (UAH) is constituted by an interdisciplinary group of professional researchers with extensive experience in chemical, biological and pharmaceutical sciences, and engineering.


The purpose of INQUIFOR is to face current challenges in different forensic science areas where chemistry & analytical tools may play some role. Thus, INQUIFOR’s research work includes both basic and applied research. This research is mainly performed at the University Institute of Research in Police Sciences (IUICP) of the UAH.


This group combines, on the one hand, the training and research capabilities of the members from the University of Alcalá and, on the other hand, the investigation skills and background of members of the Spanish Security Force Agencies (Criminalistic Service of Guardia Civil and General Commissary of Scientific Police) and Judicial system (National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences and Prosecutor´s office). INQUIFOR is currently attending as guest partner to some specialized working groups meetings belonging to ENFSI. Nowadays, INQUIFOR is collaborating with certain European (University of Coimbra, Portugal; Aventure AB, Sweden; University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Thermo Fisher Scientific, Germany; BrukerDaltonics, Germany; Ecole des Sciences Criminelles, University of Lausane, Switzerland; King’s College London, United Kingdom; Chargé de Recherche – CNRS, France; University of Lorraine, France; Technische Universität Berlin, Institut für Chemie, Germany; Basel University, Switzerland; Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands; University of Murcia, University of Málaga, Complutense University of Madrid, and the “Instituto Tecnológico de la Marañosa”, all these last in Spain) and American institutions (University of New York and University at Albany – SUNY, USA; Investigations Police of Chile, Chile; Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil). We want to emphasize that our win-win philosophy intends to open new collaboration frameworks with other universities & research groups, as well as other law enforcement or judicial agencies.


The research lines of INQUIFOR are focused on the development of new analytical tools for the interpretation of forensic cases, specifically:

– Electrophoretic & chromatographic techniques (HPLC, Ionic Chromatography, High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography & GC).

– Vibrational spectroscopic approaches: Raman, Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), by means of metallic nanoparticle colloids, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy.

– Atomic mass spectrometry (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry).

– Molecular mass spectrometry.

– Microscopy and imaging techniques.

– Multivariate analysis & data mining strategies for the interpretation of data of forensic interest.

Thus far, our major research achievements in the Forensic Science field are summarized as follows:

– A high impact research on gunshot residues enabling the pioneering traceability among the residues and the used ammunition (AnalChem2012), showing that there is not a weapon memory effect (ForSciInt2013).

– Novel methodologies to analyse smokeless gunpowders (AnalChimActa2011; AnalChimActa2012_1; AnalChimActa2012_2), dynamites (AnalChem2012; JSepSci2011), Molotov Cocktails (AnalMethods2012; Sci&Just2013), and consumer fireworks (Electrophoresis 2014) evidence.

– Advanced data treatments to classify the electrophoretic profiling of explosive and non-explosive nitrocellulose based samples (JChromA2012) and benzodiazepine drugs (Electrophoresis2014).

– Study of plastic bags as storage containers for dynamites as forensic evidence (ForSciInt2011; ForSciInt2013).

– Innovative approaches to differentiate the sequencing of intersecting ink lines in questioned documents (ForSciInt2013; TRAC2013).

– Useful methods to discriminate ballpoint pens (ForSciInt2013) and glass fragments (AnalMethods2013) evidences in forensic laboratories.


Additionally, our group is currently doing some research activities for the differentiation of biological fluids stains and tissues, fabrics and fibres, as well as preliminary approaches to study digital signatures counterfeit.



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This post is also available in: Spanish

The RAMANEX European Project

The RAMANEX European Project website is already accessible. Check the details and take a look at the spectra !

The BIBAFOODS European Project

The BIBAFOODS European Project is up and running. Check the details.

The ExCHANGE European Project

The ExCHANGE European Project website is available. This secure website proposes an international platform for Explosives data exCHANGE.

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