Hidden fingerprints revealed

March 15, 2007

Hidden fingerprints can be now be revealed quickly and reliably thanks to two developments in nanotechnology. The news is reported in the latest edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Communications.

The current method for revealing prints involves coating surfaces with a watery suspension of gold nanoparticles and citrate ions. Under acid conditions, the gold particles stick to the positively charged particles in the print.

The print is then developed using a solution of silver ions, which chemically react to leave an outline of silver along the ridges of the print.

However, the gold solution used in this method is unstable and results are difficult to repeat – so Dr Daniel Mandler, Dr Joseph Almog and their team at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, have developed a more stable solution be adding hydrocarbon chains to the gold nanoparticles and suspending them in petroleum ether.

The prints produced using the new solution are very high quality and are developed after just three minutes immersion time.

The team have also extended their technique for use on non-porous surfaces, using a petrol ether suspension of cadmium selenide/zinc sulphide. In this case, the chemical reaction makes the prints fluoresce, so no additional developing stage is required.

Antonio Cantu, an expert in forensic science for the United States Secret Service in Washington, said: “The techniques are revolutionary and are apt to greatly improve the recovery of latent prints on evidence.”

Dr Claude Roux, director of the Centre for Forensic Science at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, said: “This use of nanotechnology in the fingerprint community can bring novel and practical solutions to develop and enhance latent fingerprints that would otherwise remain undetected.”

Source: RCS

Explore further: Interface engineering for stable perovskite solar cells

Related Stories

Interface engineering for stable perovskite solar cells

August 25, 2016

The lifetime of perovskite solar cells is significantly enhanced by using few-layer molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) flakes as an active buffer interface layer. Researchers from the Graphene Flagship show that interface engineering ...

Portable test rapidly detects Zika in saliva for $2 (Update)

June 29, 2016

University of Pennsylvania engineers have developed a rapid, low-cost genetic test for the Zika virus. The $2 testing device, about the size of a soda can, does not require electricity or technical expertise to use. A patient ...

Hot off the press: Nanoscale Gutenberg-style printing

April 15, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- When Gutenberg developed the principles of modern book printing, books became available to the masses. Hoping to bring technology capable of mass production to the nanometer scale, Udo Bach and this team ...

3-D printing with metals achieved

June 10, 2015

A team of researchers from the University of Twente has found a way to 3D print structures of copper and gold, by stacking microscopically small metal droplets. These droplets are made by melting a thin metal film using ...

Recommended for you

Graphene under pressure

August 25, 2016

Small balloons made from one-atom-thick material graphene can withstand enormous pressures, much higher than those at the bottom of the deepest ocean, scientists at the University of Manchester report.

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins

August 25, 2016

Ultrasound imaging is used around the world to help visualize developing babies and diagnose disease. Sound waves bounce off the tissues, revealing their different densities and shapes. The next step in ultrasound technology ...

Nanovesicles in predictable shapes

August 25, 2016

Beads, disks, bowls and rods: scientists at Radboud University have demonstrated the first methodological approach to control the shapes of nanovesicles. This opens doors for the use of nanovesicles in biomedical applications, ...

'Artificial atom' created in graphene

August 22, 2016

In a tiny quantum prison, electrons behave quite differently as compared to their counterparts in free space. They can only occupy discrete energy levels, much like the electrons in an atom - for this reason, such electron ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.