A further study to investigate the detection and enhancement of latent fingerprints using visible absorption and luminescence chemical imaging

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Journal Article
Forensic Science International, 2005, 150 (1), pp. 33 - 51
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This study investigated the application of chemical imaging to the detection of latent fingerprints using the Condor macroscopic chemical imaging system (ChemImage Corp., Pittsburgh, USA). Methods were developed and optimised for the visualisation of untreated latent fingerprints and fingerprints processed with DFO, ninhydrin, cyanoacrylate, and cyanoacrylate plus rhodamine 6G stain. The results obtained with chemical imaging were compared to the detection achieved using conventional imaging techniques. The Condor significantly improved the detection of many prints, especially those that might be considered poor quality or borderline prints. Prints on newspaper treated with ninhydrin and DFO, and prints on white and yellow paper treated with ninhydrin, benefited the most from chemical imaging detection. In many cases, fingerprints undetectable using conventional imaging techniques could be visualised with chemical imaging. Ridge detail from untreated prints on yellow paper was also detected using the Condor. When prints of high quality were examined, both detection techniques produced quality results. The results of this project demonstrate that chemical imaging offers advantages over conventional visualisation techniques when examining latent fingerprints, especially those that would be considered difficult, such as weak prints or prints on surfaces that produce highly luminescent backgrounds. Standard testing procedures for the detection and enhancement of fingerprints by chemical imaging are presented and discussed. © 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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