Glowing fingerprints

Glowing fingerprintsFingerprints are still dusted for at crime scenes, but sometimes fingerprinting powder doesn’t adhere to them well. A new technique developed at Australia’s CSIRO not only reveals fingerprints in cases where dusting won’t, but makes them glow under UV light. Materials scientist Kang Liang developed a liquid containing metal-organic framework (MOF) crystals that when applied to surfaces, rapidly binds to fingerprint residue, including proteins, peptides, fatty acids and salts. In around 30 seconds, this results in an ultrathin coating that forms an exact copy of the fingerprint and glows under UV light, enabling high resolution images to be easily captured for analysis. “Because it’s done on the spot, a digital device could be used at the scene to capture images of the glowing prints to run through the database in real time,” says Liang.