In the series of providing information about availability of latest technology in the field of forensic sciences here is a latest equipment for obtaining Latent prints without using any powder, fumes, chemicals or high intensity light sources( also called Alternate Light Source ALS). Forensic evidence collection techniques are advancing at a tremendous rate. Thermal Fingerprint Developer( TFD-2) is a chemical free method for the development of latent prints on paper items.

The TFD-2 is an automated, high throughput device capable of developing latent prints on large quantities of paper. The device raises the temperature of the documents causing a chemical reaction between the fingerprint residue and the paper, producing a fluorescent by-produce visible under ultraviolet light.


This system offers the following advantages over other development techniques:

  1. Latent print can be detected in seconds
  2. No chemical process required
  3. Contactless system reduces the risk of cross contamination
  4. High throughput reduces search time
  5. Can be uses sequentially with other development processes.


The Thermal Fingerprint Developer (TFD-2) developed by Foster and Freeman is the first commercially available instrument to solely utilize heat treatment to visualize latent fingermarks. The chemical-free TFD-2 was able to develop latent fingermarks on a variety of substrates. The manufacturer’s guidelines with regard to the optimal treatment settings were suitable for the more common substrates such as white copy paper; however, new protocols were required for the treatment of thermal paper. The TFD-2’s ability to develop these samples and its use in sequence with traditional chemical reagents, such as 1,2-indanedione and physical developer, were demonstrated. The thermal developer may offer quick and easy heat application options for existing fingermark development reagents. However, the TFD-2-developed samples lacked the detail and contrast afforded by conventional amino acid-sensitive reagents under most conditions.

A new method for the detection of latent fingermarks on paper surfaces using p-dimethylaminobenzaldehyde (DMAB) is described. The method is based upon the reaction of DMAB with the amino acids present in the latent prints.


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