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Journal of Nanophotonics

Columnar-thin-film acquisition of fingerprint topology
Author(s): Robert C. Shaler; Akhlesh Lakhtakia; Jessica Rogers; Drew P. Pulsifer; Raúl J. Martín-Palma
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Paper Abstract

Fingerprint visualization obtained from physical evidence taken from crime scenes for subsequent comparison typically requires the use of physical and chemical techniques. One physical technique to visualize or develop sebaceous fingerprints on various surfaces employs the deposition of metals such as gold and zinc thereon. We have developed a different vacuum technology: the conformal-evaporated-film-by-rotation technique to deposit dense columnar thin films (CTFs) on latent fingerprints on different types of surfaces. Sample fingerprints, acting as nonplanar substrates, deposited on different surfaces were placed in a vacuum chamber with the fingerprint side facing a boat containing an evaporant material such as chalcogenide glass. Thermal evaporation of the solid material led to the formation of a dense CTF on the fingerprint, thereby capturing the topographical texture with high resolution. Our results show that it is possible to acquire the topology of latent fingerprints on nonporous surfaces. Additionally, deposition of CTFs on overlapping fingerprints suggested ours may be a technique for elucidating the sequence of deposition of the fingerprints at the scene.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 January 2011
PDF: 11 pages
J. Nanophoton. 5(1) 051509 doi: 10.1117/1.3556154
Published in: Journal of Nanophotonics Volume 5, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
Robert C. Shaler, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Akhlesh Lakhtakia, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Jessica Rogers, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Drew P. Pulsifer, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Raúl J. Martín-Palma, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)

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