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Research on Whether Fingerprint Detection Technology Can Benefit by Use of Micro-X-Ray Fluorescence Techniques

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  1. Executive summary
  2. Introduction
  3. Research methods
  4. Results
  5. Conclusion
  6. Glossary
  7. Appendix
  8. References

Fingerprint identification is one of the most common and often used forensic tools worldwide. It has been used globally by government agencies for the past 100 years, outperforming DNA and all other systems combined to identify and catch criminals. Even so, there are limitations motivating scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in NM to develop a unique new method using micro x-ray fluorescence (MXRF). When used in conjunction with conventional methods of detection, it has a potential to help expand the use of fingerprinting as a forensic investigation tool. My report provides an overview of fingerprint identification history and techniques, in clear, easy to understand layman's terms.

[...] My research into micro-x-ray fluorescence (MXRF) technology will assess advantages and disadvantages, and make a general determination whether it has the potential to have any impact on the above stated concerns. To better understand the purpose and capabilities of MXRF, in conjunction with fingerprint identification, in the following section, I will discuss the history and provide a general overview of fingerprinting. Look closely at your fingers and you will see very fine lines that curve, circle and arch. The lines have narrow valleys known as groves, and hills known as friction ridges. [...]

[...] Christopher Worley, the lead scientist responsible for the research on micro-x-ray fluorescence used in fingerprint identification. If anyone could offer me the information I was seeking, he was the one. Discouraged, as I did not get a response right away, my patience paid off as he did finally reply and provide me with some very valuable information. Results As stated earlier, in order to discuss the fingerprint detection method developed by scientists, known as micro-x-ray fluorescence (MXRF), I first must explain current methods for lifting and processing latent fingerprints. [...]

[...] A suggestion to try Science website was made in the class discussion area, and through this website I discovered micro-x-ray fluorescence technology was recently developed as a novel method for detecting fingerprints with great advantages over methods that are known Before I could make any assessment about MXRF and its relationship to fingerprint identification, I first needed to find as much basic background information and learn all I could on the subject of fingerprints, as a whole. I did this by reading a book I own, that provided a clear, concise and easy to understand overview of forensic science, including fingerprinting, in general. [...]

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