Vacuum-metal-deposition and columnar-thin-film techniques implemented in the same apparatus

Stephen E. Swiontek, Akhlesh Lakhtakia

8 Scopus citations


Thin-film-deposition techniques used to develop latent fingerprints are continuously maturing. Vacuum metal deposition (VMD) is a commonly used technique in which thin films of gold and zinc are sequentially deposited on a latent fingerprint in a low-pressure chamber. An emerging technique entails the conformal deposition of a columnar thin film (CTF) on a latent fingerprint in a low-pressure chamber. Although specialized apparatus exist for both techniques, we have determined that the VMD technique can be easily implemented in the CTF apparatus. Use of the same apparatus for both of those fingerprint-development techniques can reduce capital costs, process-development time, and provide impetus for field-ready apparatuses.


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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