Supported in part by the U.K. Home Office, Projects 7088762 and 7106000.
TECHNICAL NOTE CRIMINALISTICS
Nanoscale Analysis of the Interaction Between Cyanoacrylate and Vacuum Metal Deposition in the Development of Latent Fingermarks on Low-Density Polyethylene*
Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011
© 2011 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 57, Issue 1, pages 196–200, January 2012
How to Cite
Jones, B. J., Downham, R. and Sears, V. G. (2012), Nanoscale Analysis of the Interaction Between Cyanoacrylate and Vacuum Metal Deposition in the Development of Latent Fingermarks on Low-Density Polyethylene. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 57: 196–200. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2011.01952.x
- Issue published online: 4 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 10 NOV 2011
- Received 16 Sept. 2010; and in revised form 8 Dec. 2010; accepted 22 Dec. 2010.
- forensic science;
- latent fingermark;
- cyanoacrylate fuming;
- vacuum metal deposition;
- friction ridge impression;
Abstract: Vacuum metal deposition (VMD) has been previously demonstrated as an effective development technique for latent fingermarks and in some cases has been shown to enhance prints developed with cyanoacrylate (CA) (superglue) fuming. This work utilizes scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to investigate the interactions of the two development techniques when applied to latent fingermarks on low-density polyethylene. CA is shown to act principally on the eccrine deposits around sweat pores, where polymerization results in long polymer fibrils a few 100 nm in width. Subsequent VMD processing results in additional areas of development, for example, between pores. However, the primary mode of deposition of zinc is by interaction with the polymerized CA, the fibrils of which become decorated with zinc nanoparticles. Areas with limited CA deposition and no significant polymerization are also enhanced with the VMD process, resulting in increased print development.