The effect of metal salt treatment on the photoluminescence of DFO-treated fingerprints

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Journal Article
Forensic Science International, 2001, 116 (2-3), pp. 117 - 123
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Ninhydrin developed fingerprints can be enhanced by treatment with a zinc or cadmium salt. The resulting fingerprint luminescence has been attributed to the induced coplanarity of the bicyclic indanedione rings of Ruhemann's purple due to complexation with the metal ions. This paper explores whether this effect also occurs in the 1,8-diaza-9-fluorenone (DFO)-amino acid adduct (1), formed from the reaction of DFO with amino acids. Molecular modeling studies of (1) indicate a relatively small out-of-plane angle of 24°. 1H NMR studies indicate (1) is asymmetric about the C2 axis in contrast to what has been previously reported. Little, if any, enhancement of luminescence was observed with Zn, Cd, Ru or Eu treated DFO developed latent fingerprints. This lack of enhancement was also borne out by solution luminescence studies. Given this lack of enhancement of luminescence, solutions of (1) and the four metal ions above were analyzed by electrospray mass spectrometry (ESMS). This indicated the formation of predominantly 1:1 complexes of (1) with both Zn and Cd, and the 2:1 complex with ruthenium. No evidence of a Eu complex was found by ESMS. Copyright © 2001 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.
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