Latent Fingerprint and trace explosives detection by photoluminescence and time-resolved imaging
Bouldin, Kimberly Kay
Latent fingerprint detection by photoluminescence is a well-developed field. Many development techniques exist and are currently being employed in forensic laboratories to detect fingerprints by making them luminescent. However, in forensic science, timeresolved imaging techniques, designed to suppress background fluorescence that interferes with fingerprint detectability, are to date not used outside of the research laboratory, and the chemistry necessary to use time-resolved imaging for fingerprint detection is somewhat limited. For this reason, the first section of this dissertation deals with fingerprint detection methods that have direct application to time-resolved imaging techniques. Trace explosive detection field methods based on chemical reactions have until recently utilized only colorimetric products. To increase the sensitivity of such detection, a field explosive test kit which produces a product that is both colorimetric and luminescent is studied. Detection sensitivity can be gained by taking advantage of the luminescence of these products, something that has not been done to date. When the appropriate chemistry is chosen for explosive detection, time-resolved imaging techniques may again be applicable. This dissertation thus looks at possibilities of taking trace explosives detection to this next level.