Library Dissertation Showcase

The effect temperature and water submersion have on the preservation of fingerprint features on two common phone materials

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2022

Fingermark preservation varies depending on many factors, mainly what condition the fingermark is present in. With the ongoing growth rate of mobile phones usage across the world population – roughly 86% of individuals owning a mobile phone (McMillan et al., 2013) – the two most common substrates are worth reviewing regarding carrying fingermarks. This experiment narrowed in on level 2 feature persistence due to their uniqueness and widely accepted ability to provide identification of individuals (Zhao and Jain, 2010), concluding on how the features persist on the two common phone materials (glass and plastic) under different temperatures, and different periods immersed in water with and without the presence of detergent. Arson or fire scenes are common ways to destroy evidence, alongside effort for concealment/destruction from offenders throwing evidence in water ways (Kapoor et al., 2019). Therefore, during this experiment fingermarks are deposited on the two substrates and placed inside an oven for an hour at temperatures ranging 30-90°C, alongside fingermarks being submerged in tap water and tap water with detergent for up to 5 hours. 8 control features previously determined are noted for presence/absence following conditioning and powdering after low power microscope analysis. All temperatures reviewed had no impact on the features, alongside normal water submersion not affecting persistence. The presence of detergent caused a sharp decline in visible features with only few features persisting, central features also had better persistence over more edge ridge details suggesting any further experiments should possibly include the use of superglue fuming due to its recovery benefits from using ethyl cyanoacrylate.

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