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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229682 Find in a Library
Title: High Resolution Imaging of Latent Fingerprints by Localized Corrosion on Brass Surfaces
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:55  Issue:1  Dated:January 2010  Pages:58-65
Author(s): Alex J. Goddard, M.Chem; A. Robert Hillman, D.Phil; John W. Bond, D.Phil
Date Published: January 2010
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses high resolution imaging of latent fingerprints using the Atomic Force Microscope.
Abstract: The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is capable of imaging fingerprint ridges on polished brass substrates at an unprecedented level of detail. While exposure to elevated humidity at ambient or slightly raised temperatures does not change the image appreciably, subsequent brief heating in a flame results in complete loss of the sweat deposit and the appearance of pits and trenches. Localized elemental analysis (using EDAX, coupled with SEM imaging) shows the presence of the constituents of salt in the initial deposits. Together with water and atmospheric oxygen - and with thermal enhancement - these are capable of driving a surface corrosion process. This process is sufficiently localized that it has the potential to generate a durable negative topographical image of the fingerprint. AFM examination of surface regions between ridges revealed small deposits (probably microscopic "patter" of sweat component or transferred particulates) that may ultimately limit the level of ridge detail analysis. 1 table, 11 figures, and 25 references (Published abstract)
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Fingerprint detection techniques; Fingerprint image quality; Fingerprints; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques; Latent fingerprints
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