Determining the order of deposition of natural latent fingerprints and laser printed ink using chemical mapping with secondary ion mass spectrometry

Nicola Attard Montalto, Jesús J. Ojeda, Benjamin J. Jones
  • Science & Justice, March 2013, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.scijus.2012.05.007

Did you handle the document or just load the copier? Now we can tell!

What is it about?

Few fingerprint development techniques enable investigators to identify whether a fingerprint was deposited on the paper before or after printing with text or an image. This work uses the highly surface sensitive technique - SIMS - to study the salt distribution in the surface of the fingermark, and enables the distinction of fingerprint before or after text 100% of the time on laser printed paper.

Why is it important?

This work helps forensic investigations by gaining extra intelligence from the crime scene. Fingerprints can be put in context, allowing investigators to know if they were deposited before or after the printing on a document. For example, did someone read a letter or write it? Load the photocopier, or handle the faked certificate?

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Benjamin J Jones