Accessible biometrics: a frustrated total internal reflection approach to imaging fingerprints

Smith, Nathan D. and Sharp, James S. (2017) Accessible biometrics: a frustrated total internal reflection approach to imaging fingerprints. Science & Justice, 57 (3). pp. 193-198. ISSN 1876-4452

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Fingerprints are widely used as a means of identifying persons of interest because of the highly individual nature of the spatial distribution and types of features (or minuta) found on the surface of a finger. This individuality has led to their wide application in the comparison of fingerprints found at crime scenes with those taken from known offenders and suspects in custody. However, despite recent advances in machine vision technology and image processing techniques, fingerprint evidence is still widely being collected using outdated practices involving ink and paper – a process that can be both time consuming and expensive. Reduction of forensic service budgets increasingly requires that evidence be gathered and processed more rapidly and efficiently. However, many of the existing digital fingerprint acquisition devices have proven too expensive to roll out on a large scale. As a result new, low-cost imaging technologies are required to increase the quality and throughput of the processing of fingerprint evidence. Here we describe an inexpensive approach to digital fingerprint acquisition that is based upon frustrated total internal reflection imaging. The quality and resolution of the images produced are shown to be as good as those currently acquired using ink and paper based methods. The same imaging technique is also shown to be capable of imaging powdered fingerprints that have been lifted from a crime scene using adhesive tape or gel lifters.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Fingerprint; Waveguide; Imaging; Frustrated total internal reflection
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Physics and Astronomy
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2017 08:45
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 19:57

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