Evaluation of a Hot Print System for the development of latent fingermarks on thermal paper: a pseudo-operational trial

Kiera Robb, Paul Deacon, Laura Fordyce, Rebecca Fennessy, Kevin J. Farrugia*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Enhancement of latent fingermarks on thermal paper poses a number of problems when using traditional methods used for porous substrates due to blackening of the thermal layer as a result of polar solvents present within the reagents and high temperatures oxidising the acid/dye complex. Thus, methods which prevent such reactions are favoured for the development of latent prints on said substrates. A comparative pseudo-operational trial using UV, Hot Print System (HPS), ninhydrin and ThermaNIN was performed on 1000 thermal paper substrates gathered from various sources. The results indicated that the most effective method was an acetone pre-wash followed by ninhydrin. The sequence of HPS-ninhydrin was similarly effective when compared to ninhydrin as a sole technique. ThermaNIN produced fewer marks than ninhydrin but was superior to HPS. Whilst the HPS developed some fingermarks, there was only a very small number of marks uniquely developed by it.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)72-78
    Number of pages7
    JournalScience and Justice
    Issue number1
    Early online date12 Aug 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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