Journal of Forensic Research

ISSN: 2157-7145

Open Access

Synthesis and On-Field Testing of Novel Low-Cost Latent Fingerprint Development Powders


Gurpreet Singh Suri* and Mohammad Al-Suwaidi

Background: A series of novel and low-cost powders were synthesised for the detection and extraction of the latent fingerprints deposited on various porous and non-porous surfaces. The template materials for these novel products range from silica nanoparticles to iron nanoparticles and activated charcoal. Preliminary lab testing indicated high quality fingerprints that were developed on various porous and non-porous surfaces such as glass slides, polymer plastic bags, aluminium foil, cardboard and paper.

Results: The silica based nano-fingerprint powders gave extremely fine visual prints as compared to commercial SIRCHIE® powders, with a white pattern of the ridges. Activated charcoal based and iron nanoparticles based powders on the other hand yielded fine black fingerprint patterns similar to the commercial SIRCHIE® powders. These series of powders were subjected to on-field testing by utilising the state-of-art facility of the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology, Dubai Police. The samples were tested here under both lab conditions and virtual crime scenes, alongside the SIRCHIE® commercial powders already in standard use by the Dubai Police. The qualities of print developed were assessed based on the AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) report and visual inspection by the senior fingerprint experts of the Dubai police.

Conclusion: The study revealed distinct advantages of the novel synthesised products over the commercial powders. There was higher uniformity of the developed print patterns, higher score of AFIS analysis and advanced recovery of damaged fingerprints using the novel powders, which makes these novel products highly commercially viable.


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