Abstract

<i>In situ</i> attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FT-IR) spectroscopic imaging has been used to obtain chemical images of fingerprints under controlled humidity and temperature. The distribution of lipid and amino acid components in the fingerprints from different donors left on the surface of the ZnSe crystal has been studied using an <i>in situ</i> FT-IR spectroscopic imaging approach under a controlled environment and studied as a function of time. Univariate and multivariate analyses were employed to analyze the spectroscopic dataset. Changes in the spectra of lipids with temperature and time have been detected. This information is needed to understand aging of the fingerprints. The ATR-FT-IR spectroscopic imaging offers a new and complementary means for studying the chemistry of fingerprints that are left pristine for further analysis. This study demonstrates the potential for visualizing the chemical changes of fingerprints for forensic applications by spectroscopic imaging.

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