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        A New Way to See Fingerprints

        In this video excerpt from NOVA: “Forensics on Trial,” learn about a new technique to retrieve latent fingerprints using columnar thin film (CTF) technology. Inspired by his research using an ultrathin material to study fly eyes, Akhlesh Lakhtakia from Penn State University’s Materials Research Institute developed a new method to visualize latent fingerprints. A fingerprint can be coated with a thin layer of vaporized glass to reproduce the topographic features of the print. The fingerprint features become more prominent using the CTF technique, which forensic examiners can use to reveal details that other methods might miss.

         

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