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Improving Visibility of Fingerprints Using Sublimation Dyes and Superglue

NCJ Number
Evidence Technology Magazine Volume: 5 Issue: 6 Dated: November/December 2007 Pages: 20-23
Date Published
November 2007
4 pages
This article provides an update on research being performed by the lead author's team under a National Institute of Justice grant to make the superglue fuming process for developing friction-ridge fingerprint detail simpler and faster for those performing this work in the field.
Two branches of research compose the research project. First, the research team is attempting to copolymerize sublimation dyes with cyanoacrylate monomer (CM) for ultraviolet and visible light. Numerous families of sublimation dyes have been tested with varying temperature parameters, along with multiple concentrations of differing solvents, temperature range modifiers, and two types of cyanoacrylate ester (CE), which is the critical element in superglue fumes. Second, the research team is attempting to enhance the microcrystallined vaporization of liquid CM and sodium hydroxide cellulose pads. In this effort, exciting results have been obtained from the testing of numerous chemistries. The team increased the microcrystalline bloom from 2 minutes to a range of 4 to 8 minutes. The goal is to increase vaporization with a liquid-to-liquid ampoule system in order to improve traditional methods. Although this process is not ready for commercial product release, progress is clear and the research continues. This article describes the equipment and procedural protocol being used in the research and the details of what has been achieved.

Date Published: November 1, 2007