Columnar-thin-film acquisition of fingerprint topology

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.



Work Title Columnar-thin-film acquisition of fingerprint topology
Open Access
  1. Robert C. Shaler
  2. Akhlesh Lakhtakia
  3. Drew P. Pulsifer
  4. Jessica Rogers
  5. Raúl J. Martí N-Palma
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Journal of Nanophotonics
Publication Date January 1, 2011
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited November 15, 2021




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Shaler_10_2v4.pdf
  • Added Creator Robert C. Shaler
  • Added Creator Akhlesh Lakhtakia
  • Added Creator Drew P. Pulsifer
  • Added Creator Jessica Rogers
  • Added Creator Raúl J. Martí N-Palma
  • Published
  • Updated
  • Updated