* Finger Printing Information
Latent Fingerprint Development
‘In 1996 CFC replacements were introduced which would offer CFC like characteristics without the harmful effects. These were mainly used in the dispersion of Ninhydrin, a stain which reacts with all Alpha-Amino Acids (with the exception of Cysteine) to give di-ketohydrinylidenediketohydindamine also known as Rohemanns Purple.’
Terahedron: 1973 Vol 29 pp 4271-4272
This reaction is the characteristic visual purple colour seen when identifying fingerprints. The importance of the Carrier solvent for Ninhydrin is that it does not in any way react with the amino acids of the fingerprint and is inert enough not to interfere with the porous substrate in which the fingerprint is found.
When using Ninhyrdin or DFO, the carrier solvent HFE 7100 is the one of choice to Forensic Investigators as it does not absorb moisture, so aiding the print development making certain the ridge diffusion is minimised. Other advantages include minimal smearing in a wide variety of inks and substrates and an excellent environmental profile.
Finger prints developed with HFE 7100 have crisper more regular ridges, with better definition that produce fingerprints containing 8 or more Galton points after 14 days. Whether using Ninhyrdin or DFO the dispersion ensures that the cracks and creases in the porous surface come into contact with the reporter molecule, qualitatively described by the wetting index as which is specific to the viscosity, surface tension and density of the solvent.
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