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NCJ Number: NCJ 184394     Find in a Library
Title: New Reagents for Development of Latent Fingerprints
  Document URL: Text PDF 
Author(s): Madeleine M. Joullie
Date Published: 09/1995
Page Count: 2
  Series: NIJ Update
  Annotation: This paper describes research that found ways to enhance the properties (e.g., line resolution, fluorescence) of one of the most commonly used reagents in the development of latent fingerprints, ninhydrin, through structural modification; in addition, ninhydrin analogs were altered to expand their solubility to a wider range of organic solvents.
Abstract: Chlorofluorocarbons, such as trichlorofifluoroethane, had been the solvents of choice in ninhydrin formulations. When banned recently by the Environmental Protection Agency, a search was begun for acceptable substitute solvents. In the ninhydrin study, researchers found that some derivatives of the reagent, resulting from its reaction with higher molecular weight or "long chain" alcohols (i.e., hemiacetals), undergo the same color-forming reactions as ninhydrin, but they are substantially more soluble in organic solvents (e.g., ethyl acetate, methylene chloride, or toluene). Hemiacetals can be quantitatively obtained from any ninhydrin analog in a one-step procedure. Several synthetic approaches were developed and evaluated to provide a total of 21 new ninhydrin analogs. These reagents were evaluated for fingerprint visualization by forensic experts at the U.S. Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies in the United States as well as in England, Switzerland, Australia, and Israel. The new methodology afforded two complementary reagents (2-THIN and 3-THIN), which displayed superior fingerprint developing properties. Large-scale production of 2-THIN has been initiated by Vinfer Ltd., a Northern Ireland manufacturer, to investigate its potential for commercialization. This research has provided a viable solution to problems encountered by criminalists as a result of the prohibition against the use of chlorofluorocarbons. 5 notes
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Latent fingerprints ; Forensics/Forensic Sciences ; Investigative techniques ; NIJ grant-related documents
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
US Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
United States of America
Grant Number: 92-IJ-CX-K0154
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Country: United States of America
Language: English
Note: Dataset may be archived by the NIJ Data Resources Program at the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
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