The optimisation of fingermark enhancement by VMD and Lumicyano™ on thermal paper

Paul B. Sherriffs, Kevin J. Farrugia, Joanna M. Fraser, Benjamin J. Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
138 Downloads (Pure)


The enhancement of fingermarks on thermal paper can be challenging due to background staining caused by polar solvents used in fingermark enhancement techniques such as ninhydrin. This study explored a commercial one-step superglue fuming process, Lumicyano™, and Vacuum Metal Deposition (VMD) to develop fingermarks on this substrate and overcome this issue. Different sequential treatments involving Lumicyano™ and a combination of VMD methods were investigated with varying degrees of success with some sequences being highly sensitive. The VMD processes, however, were observed to generally be more effective at enhancing marks, whereas Lumicyano™ provided little or no benefit on this paper type. The results indicate that Lumicyano™ is only beneficial as a pre-treatment when the entire sequence of gold/zinc and silver/zinc is taken to completion. The gold/zinc and silver/zinc VMD processes were optimised on five different thermal papers, and the optimised techniques were then directly compared to determine which was more successful on each thermal paper type as a single treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-168
Number of pages9
JournalScience and Justice - Journal of the Forensic Science Society
Issue number2
Early online date31 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Latent fingerprint enhancement
  • Thermal paper
  • Vacuum Metal Deposition
  • Solvent free
  • One step superglue fuming
  • Environmentally friendly techniques


Dive into the research topics of 'The optimisation of fingermark enhancement by VMD and Lumicyano™ on thermal paper'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this