Forensic Examination of Latent Prints Using Raman Spectroscopy

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Student Presentation

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Dale Russell


The purpose of this research is to be able to determine whether or not a latent print, enhanced with blood reagents, is a print left behind by a potentially innocent person, or by a criminal that has committed a violent act. There are two types of prints that will be examined, faux prints and genuine prints. The faux prints are fingerprints that, when under blood and exposed to fingerprinting reagents, look like a print on the surface of the blood. The genuine prints are prints left on top of the blood. Being able to determine with certainty which print is which could be a deciding factor in a court case. This experiment will be carried out using the Raman spectrophotometer. The Raman should be able to determine the differences in oxygen content in the eccrine oils in the fingerprints. The dyes will be analyzed as well to determine their effects on the oxygen intake of the oils, and to help determine the exact positions of the fingerprints. Two trials will be done for this experiment, a dry run, with undiluted blood, and a dilution run, to determine whether diluted blood will have a significant impact in the oxygen intake or the Raman’s ability to determine the oxygen content.

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