Fingermark detection on non-porous and semi-porous surfaces using NaYF4:Er,Yb up-converter particles
This article describes the first use of an anti-Stokes material, or up-converter, for the development of latent fingermarks on a range of non-porous surfaces. Anti-Stokes materials can absorb long-wavelength light and emit light at a shorter wavelength. This property is unusual in both natural and artificial materials and so fingermark detection techniques based on anti-Stokes luminescence are potentially sensitive and selective. Latent fingermarks on luminescent and non-luminescent substrates, including Australian polymer banknotes (a well-known ‘difficult’ surface), were developed with sodium yttrium tetrafluoride doped with erbium and ytterbium (NaYF4:Er,Yb) by dry powder, wet powder, and cyanoacrylate staining techniques. This study illustrates the potential of up-converter phosphors for the detection of latent fingermarks.