skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 161914 Find in a Library
Title: Vacuum Metal Deposition and Cyanoacrylate Detection of Older Latent Prints
Journal: Journal of Forensic Identification  Volume:46  Issue:1  Dated:(January/February 1996)  Pages:32-45
Author(s): N E Masters; J D DeHaan
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 14
Type: Test/Measurement
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Vacuum Metal Deposition (VMD) is often considered a supplemental technique to enhance marginal latent prints partially developed by cyanoacrylate fuming, especially of prints of recent vintage; this study examined the sensitivity and effectiveness of cyanoacrylate ester (CAE) fuming followed by vacuum metal (zinc) coating of smooth surfaces bearing latent prints up to 24 months old.
Abstract: Prints were collected on glass slides from a variety of people selected at random and stored at moderate temperatures for various lengths of time. The slides were treated by CAE fuming alone, VMD alone, and by fuming and VMD in sequence. The effectiveness of these techniques on prints of various ages from different individuals was estimated by direct optical examination of the results. The effects of re-humidifying the latent residues and black powder dusting were also explored. The latent residues and the developed prints were examined by scanning electron microscope to attempt characterization of the types of residues responsible for triggering VMD and CAE visualization. VMD using gold and zinc showed excellent sensitivity to latent prints on glass surfaces. It was more sensitive to older prints (24 months old) than CAE fuming alone. It was of similar sensitivity on fresh prints (2 months old) to CAE fuming. CAE fuming followed by VMD yielded more identifiable detail than either technique alone, but there is a significant risk of losing detail already developed. 7 figures, 4 tables, and 4 references
Main Term(s): Science and Technology
Index Term(s): Fingerprint image quality; Forensic sciences; Latent fingerprints
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.