Effect of substrate surface topography on forensic development of latent fingerprints with iron oxide powder suspension

B. J. Jones, R. Downham, V. G. Sears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Latent fingerprint deposition and effectiveness of detection are strongly affected by the surface on which prints are deposited. Material properties, surface roughness, morphology, chemistry and hydrophobicity can affect the usefulness or efficacy of forensic print development techniques. Established protocols outline appropriate techniques and sequences of processes for broad categories of operational surfaces. This study uses atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to investigate a series of surfaces classified as smooth, non-porous plastic. Latent prints developed with iron oxide powder suspension are analysed on a range of scales from macro to nano to help elucidate the interaction mechanisms between the latent fingerprint, development agent and underlying surface. Differences between surfaces have a strong effect, even within this single category. We show that both average roughness and topographical feature shape, characterised by skew, kurtosis and lay, are important factors to consider for the processing of latent fingerprints.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-4742
Number of pages4305
JournalSurface and Interface Analysis
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Surface topography
Iron oxides
iron oxides
Powders
Suspensions
topography
Substrates
Surface roughness
kurtosis
Hydrophobicity
hydrophobicity
Macros
Atomic force microscopy
Materials properties
surface roughness
roughness
plastics
ferric oxide
atomic force microscopy
chemistry

Cite this

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Effect of substrate surface topography on forensic development of latent fingerprints with iron oxide powder suspension. / Jones, B. J.; Downham, R.; Sears, V. G.

In: Surface and Interface Analysis, Vol. 42, No. 5, 05.2010, p. 438-4742.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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