Chemical characterization of latent fingerprints by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, mega electron volt secondary mass spectrometry, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging: An intercomparison

Melanie J. Bailey, Nicholas J. Bright, Ruth S. Croxton, Simona Francese, Leesa S. Ferguson, Stephen Hinder, Sue Jickells, Benjamin J. Jones, Brian N. Jones, Sergei G. Kazarian, Jesus J. Ojeda, Roger P. Webb, Rosalind Wolstenholme, Stephen Bleay

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The first analytical intercomparison of fingerprint residue using equivalent samples of latent fingerprint residue and characterized by a suite of relevant techniques is presented. This work has never been undertaken, presumably due to the perishable nature of fingerprint residue, the lack of fingerprint standards, and the intradonor variability, which impacts sample reproducibility. For the first time, time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, high-energy secondary ion mass spectrometry, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy are used to target endogenous compounds in fingerprints and a method is presented for establishing their relative abundance in fingerprint residue. Comparison of the newer techniques with the more established gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopic imaging shows good agreement between the methods, with each method detecting repeatable differences between the donors, with the exception of matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization, for which quantitative analysis has not yet been established. We further comment on the sensitivity, selectivity, and practicability of each of the methods for use in future police casework or academic research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8514-8523
Number of pages10
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number20
Early online date29 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2012

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