University of Nottingham

Chemical Imaging of Fingerprints

A look inside the chamber of the Ion-TOF IV

Chemical imaging of fingerprints by ToF-SIMS.

Regular viewers of BBC's Crimewatch Roadshow Live may have seen a surprise cameo from the School of Pharmacy's  Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) facility on March 12th.

Complete with the facility manager, Dr Nichola Starr, the chemical imaging technique was highlighted as a means to visualise fingerprints on traditionally challenging surfaces (metals). 

Well known for its broad range of potential applications, work at the University of Nottingham headed by the School of Physics' Dr James Sharp has shown that the exceptionally surface sensitive technique can far exceed more traditional imaging (staining and microscopy) in providing fingerprint structures on these difficult surfaces. Such fingerprint reconstructions in turn have exciting potential forensic applications.

More information on James' work using the capabilities of ToF-SIMS can be found here. More information on the ToF-SIMS facilities at the University of Nottingham can be found here.

Posted on Tuesday 7th May 2019

Interface and Surface Analysis Centre (ISAC)