Functionalised silicon oxide nanoparticles for fingermark detection

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Journal Article
Forensic Science International, 2016, 259 pp. 10 - 18
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© 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Over the past decade, the use of nanotechnology for fingermark detection has been attracting a lot of attention. A substantial number of nanoparticle types has thus been studied and applied with varying success. However, despite all efforts, few publications present clear supporting evidence of their superiority over standard and commonly used techniques. This paper focuses on a rarely studied type of nanoparticles that regroups all desired properties for effective fingermark detection: silicon oxide. These nanoparticles offer optical and surface properties that can be tuned to provide optimal detection. This study explores their potential as a new method for fingermark detection.Detection conditions, outer functionalisations and optical properties were optimised and a first evaluation of the technique is presented. Dye-doped silicon oxide nanoparticles were assessed against a one-step luminescent cyanoacrylate. Both techniques were compared on natural fingermarks from three donors collected on four different non-porous substrates. On average, the two techniques performed similarly but silicon oxide detected marks with a better homogeneity and was less affected by donor inter-variability. The technique remains to be further optimised and yet silicon oxide nanoparticles already show great promises for effective fingermark detection.
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