The detection and enhancement of latent fingermarks using infrared chemical imaging

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Journal Article
Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2005, 50 (1), pp. 64 - 72
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The use of a new technique, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) chemical imaging, has been demonstrated for the enhancement of latent fingermarks on a number of surfaces. Images of untreated fingermarks on glass backgrounds with excellent ridge detail were acquired using infrared chemical imaging. High quality fingermarks on glass backgrounds were also developed using ethyl cyanoacrylate (super glue) fuming and subsequent infrared chemical imaging. This new method allows the collection of images from backgrounds that traditionally pose problems for current fingermark detection methods. The background may, for example, be highly colored, have a complex pattern, or possess other pattern or image characteristics that make it difficult to separate fingermark ridges using traditional optical or luminescent visualization. One background that has proven to be a challenging surface for the development of latent fingermarks is the Australian polymer banknote. To demonstrate the power and applicability of infrared chemical imaging, fingermarks fumed with ethyl cyanoacrylate were successfully imaged from Australian polymer banknotes.
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