Winner of the Trent Institute for Learning and Teaching Research in Undergraduate Studies Award. In recognition of having the best research project in the School of Science and Technology in 2015/2016.
Highly fluorescent dye-doped silica particles (SPs) were synthesised to review their suitability for latent fingermark enhancement. SPs exhibit unique properties that current conventional powdering techniques do not possess, including increased adherence to ridges, ability to incorporate fluorescent dyes and size-dependent synthesis. Despite this, SPs have only recently been investigated for potential uses as a fingerprint enhancement technique. This study sought to expand on this limited research, focusing on potential uses of functionalised and unfunctionalised SPs as a dusting agent and powder suspension.
Modified versions of the Stöber and Blaaderen methods were utilised to incorporate fluorescein isothiocyanate within the silica particle core and functionalisation with amine groups, carboxylic acid groups and N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) esters followed, forming the library of particles for fingermark enhancement. Further functionalisation with biomolecules revealed the potential for possible future application as a drug detection powder. SP characterisation was completed using scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive x-ray, dynamic light scattering, inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and infrared spectroscopy.