Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $264,842)
As submitted by the proposer:
The proposed research program will provide fundamental information that will enable the straightforward improvement of the superglue fuming method of developing latent fingermarks, by optimizing the chemical processes that occur during the fuming process. This will be realized by using our expertise in polymer chemistry to exploit the combined role of temperature and humidity on the superglue fuming of fingermarks. Our preliminary results suggest that there is an optimum temperature for fuming fingermarks on glass slides and at 20% humidity, and we propose to expand these results to determine the combined impact of temperature and humidity on the superglue fuming process to improve the rate of polymerization that occurs during superglue fuming and thus, provides an easy and cost-effective method to improve the quality of prints developed by this process.
Previous results also suggest that the substrate on which the print is deposited can impact the effect of temperature on the fuming process, and we will therefore also investigate the role of the supporting surface on the optimal temperature and humidity of the superglue fuming process. These studies will be expanded to examine the effect of the formulation of the cyanoacrylate on the combined impact of temperature and humidity on the success of the superglue fuming process, and thus quality of the fumed print.
Thus, we propose to complete a series of experiments that will provide fundamental information that can be used by forensic scientists in the field to create cost-effective and practical protocols to tune the effectiveness and optimize the process of the superglue fuming method to develop, visualize and analyze latent fingermarks.
This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.