Exacting Detail

Chemical Microscopy is one of the most diverse and valuable combinations of techniques and instruments available to a forensic chemist. We strive to provide extacting detail in every thing we do for you!


Chemical microscopy requires that a magnifying optical instrument is employed in the practical chemical analyses. Thus, chemical microscopy simply means the application of microscopic methods to the solutions of problems arising in a chemical industry laboratory or forensic science laboratory.


Every single industry today would benefit from microscopic methods applied intelligently to solve problems in manufacturing or product failure. The polarizing microscope is a measuring instrument with great precision and by its use alone a very large number of chemical compounds may be unequivocally classified, if not identified, visually.


We are experienced research investigators with a demonstrated history of working in the pharmaceutical industry and other verticals.


Meet Our team


Dale K. Purcell, Ph.D.

Founder, ceo

Dale K. Purcell, Ph.D., has over 22 years of experience related to analyses of materials, often on the order of milligram or less quantities in a regulated laboratory setting of cGMP, FDA, ISO, EPA, and DEA. He has expertise in a wide range of microscopy and microspectroscopy techniques and applications. Dr. Purcell was a Visiting Scientist sponsored by Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) at the Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit (CFSRU) in the Laboratory Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he performed collaborative research to develop procedures using cathodoluminescence light microspectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis. Dr. Purcell started his private consulting business to assist with providing legal services to indigent persons charged with criminal offenses. Dr. Purcell provides assistance in pharmaceutical patent litigation and support. Dr. Purcell’s research interests include the uniting of microscopy with spectroscopy, the identification and characterization of microscopic samples, source determination, thermomicroscopy and polymorphisms, glass delamination, identification and characterization of unknown foreign particulate materials, efficient analytical microspectroscopy methods, and the effects of microgravity on solid-state chemistry.


Nicholas Petraco Sr

Forensic Consultant

Nicholas Petraco Sr. is an award-winning forensic scientist and consultant with more than 40 years of experience aiding thousands of criminal and civil investigations, art investigations, and art fraud cases. He has advised or joined thousands of prosecutor and defense attorney death investigations and has given civil or criminal court expert testimony in over 500 trials. Petraco is an expert in paint pigments, binders, resins and finishes, glass, synthetic and natural fibers, human and animal hair, and diverse other materials of interest. His noted authentication work includes the lost 9/11 World Trade Center flag, the Miracle on Ice flag, and the last Jackson Pollock painting. Petraco has received numerous awards, including the State Microscopical Society of Illinois Recipient of the 2020 August Köhler Award for his contributions to the microscopy and forensic sciences, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Criminalistics Section Recipient of the Dr. Paul L. Kirk award for excellence in work and research in criminalistics (2018), and the American Society of Trace Evidence Examiners Recipient of the Dr. Edmond Locard award for excellence in trace evidence work and research in trace evidence (2014). Petraco has also worked for the New York City Police Department as a forensic consultant and a staff senior forensic examiner and detective. He holds an M.S. in Forensic Sciences (Terminal Degree), 1979, and a B.S. in Analytical Chemistry, 1974, both from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY.

Get More Detailed

If you’d like to learn more about Chemical Microscopy or to discuss your needs with our staff, please feel free to contact us. Our techniques and knowledge can help your business and/or development efforts.