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Latent Fingerprint Visualization and Subsequent DNA Extraction Using Electron Beam Evaporation of Metallic Ultra-Thin Films

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 3 ]


Haiping Wang, Dongbo Mi*, Wanxu Wang, Hongliang Zhang*, Dongsheng Tong, Shengjiang Wang and Feng Gao   Pages 248 - 253 ( 6 )


Background: Proper detection and subsequent extraction of biological evidence are crucial for crime scene reconstruction. Vacuum metal deposition is currently an effective technique used in latent fingerprint development. However, the established procedures commonly undergo a direct plasma bombardment, a high ablation fluence and/or a high temperature process in vacuum metal deposition system.

Method: In this work, electron beam evaporation (EBE) was used to investigate the development of latent fingerprints and subsequent DNA extraction of biological evidence. Gold or copper is preferentially nucleated on the background surfaces rather than the fingerprint residues due to the difference of the nature of the surface, which indicates that the gold / copper and copper agglomerates are binding to the fingerprint valleys not the ridges of the fingerprint, revealing bright patterns with excellent ridge detail clarity on black surfaces.

Result: It is demonstrated that the co-extraction of the latent fingerprints and DNA is attributed to electron beam evaporated one-step process with relatively low energy bombarding energetic species and neutral particles, less possibility of contamination and without toxic and fluorine-based gases.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that EBE is a promising technique for the latent fingerprints and DNA co-extraction.


Latent fingerprints, electron beam evaporation, metallic ultra-thin films, fingerprint development, DNA extraction, vacuum metal deposition.


China Maritime Police Academy, Ningbo 315801, Jiangxi Key Laboratory for Mass Spectrometry and Instrumentation, East China University of Technology, Nanchang 330013, Ningbo City Public Security Bureau, Ningbo 315010, Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Ningbo 315201, China Maritime Police Academy, Ningbo 315801, China Maritime Police Academy, Ningbo 315801, China Maritime Police Academy, Ningbo 315801

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