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Volume 6 (2006), Pages 691-699
Research Article

Ultraviolet Fluorescence Imaging of Fingerprints

Second Forensic Science Division, National Research Institute of Police Science, 6-3-1 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-0882, Japan

Received 15 December 2005; Revised 7 April 2006; Accepted 7 July 2006

Academic Editor: Arie Zeichner

Copyright © 2006 Naoki Saitoh and Norimitsu Akiba.


We studied fluorescence imaging of fingerprints on a high-grade white paper in the deep ultraviolet (UV) region with a nanosecond-pulsed Nd-YAG laser system that consists of a tunable laser and a cooled CCD camera.Clear fluorescence images were obtained by time-resolved imaging with a 255- to 425-nm band-pass filter, which cuts off strong fluorescence of papers. Although fluorescence can be imaged with any excitation wavelength between 220 and 290 nm, 230 and 280 nm are the best in terms of image quality. However, the damage due to laser illumination was smaller for 266-nm excitation than 230- or 280-nm excitation.Absorption images of latent fingerprints on a high-grade white paper are also obtained with our imaging system using 215- to 280-nm laser light. Shorter wavelengths produce better images and the best image was obtained with 215 nm. Absorption images are also degraded slightly by laser illumination, but their damage is smaller than that of fluorescence images.