Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 394, Issue 8, pp 2069–2075 | Cite as

Non-invasive detection of superimposed latent fingerprints and inter-ridge trace evidence by infrared spectroscopic imaging

  • Rohit Bhargava
  • Rebecca Schwartz Perlman
  • Daniel C. Fernandez
  • Ira W. Levin
  • Edward G. Bartick
Original Paper


Current latent print and trace evidence collecting technologies are usually invasive and can be destructive to the original deposits. We describe a non-invasive vibrational spectroscopic approach that yields latent fingerprints that are overlaid on top of one another or that may contain trace evidence that needs to be distinguished from the print. Because of the variation in the chemical composition distribution within the fingerprint, we demonstrate that linear unmixing applied to the spectral content of the data can be used to provide images that reveal superimposed fingerprints. In addition, we demonstrate that the chemical composition of the trace evidence located in the region of the print can potentially be identified by its infrared spectrum. Thus, trace evidence found at a crime scene that previously could not be directly related to an individual, now has the potential to be directly related by its presence in the individual-identifying fingerprints.


Latent fingerprints Trace evidence Infrared spectroscopy IR FT-IR Spectroscopic imaging Chemical imaging 


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Copyright information

© US Government 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rohit Bhargava
    • 1
    • 3
  • Rebecca Schwartz Perlman
    • 2
    • 4
  • Daniel C. Fernandez
    • 1
    • 5
  • Ira W. Levin
    • 1
  • Edward G. Bartick
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Laboratory of Chemical Physics, NIDDKNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit, FBI LaboratoryFBI AcademyQuanticoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Bioengineering and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and TechnologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  4. 4.Ideal Innovations, IncArlingtonUSA
  5. 5.Mount Sinai School of MedicineOne Gustave L. Levy PlaceNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.Department of Chemistry and BiochemistrySuffolk UniversityBostonUSA

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