Rapid detection of cocaine, benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine in fingerprints using surface mass spectrometry.
Latent fingermarks are invisible to the naked eye and normally require the application of a chemical developer followed by an optical imaging step in order to visualize the ridge detail. If the finger deposition is poor, or the fingermark is aged, it can sometimes be difficult to produce an image of sufficient quality for identification. In this work, we show for the first time how mass spectrometry imaging (in this case time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, ToF-SIMS) can be used to enhance the quality of partially recovered fingermarks. We show three examples of how chemical imaging can be used to obtain enhanced images of fingermarks deposited on aluminium foil, glass and the handle of a hand grenade compared with conventional development techniques.