A fluorescent hybrid material (PPH-S-CdSe), which comprises cadmium selenide sulphide nanoparticles assembled onto thiol functionalised porous phosphate heterostructures (PPH-SH), was synthesised in aqueous media. This material presents a high stability towards photo-degradation. The obtained nanocomposite was characterised by various techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, energy dispersive X-ray, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy. This fluorescent material showed a red emission at 576 nm combined with other at 473 nm, explained as different CdS0.42Se0.58 nanoparticles size, supported by TEM images. It was suitable for latent fingermark analysis in a wide range of surfaces. Because of its sensitivity and low cost, it is an actual alternative to conventional powdering materials. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.