White-light vs. short-wavelength ultraviolet illumination of fingerprints developed with columnar thin films of Alq3

Stephanie L. Plazibat, Stephen E. Swiontek, Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Reena Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The deposition of a columnar thin film (CTF) of Alq3 on partial-bloody fingerprints has recently been shown to yield better development than many traditional development techniques. The Alq3-CTF-developed fingerprint is illuminated by short-wavelength ultraviolet (UV) light, to take advantage of the luminescence of Alq3. Experiments were undertaken to test the hypothesis that white-light illumination of Alq3-CTF-developed fingerprints is inferior to UV illumination. Objective and subjective grading of photographs of 18 Alq3-CTF-developed fingerprints on brass strongly indicate that white-light illumination is likely to be suitable for comparison; if that fails to yield a strong conclusion, then a photograph taken with short-wavelength UV illumination should be examined by a human. This procedure would reduce not only UV-induced health hazards in the laboratory but also the chance of denaturing potentially useful DNA information contained in the fingerprint.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-199
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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