University of Hertfordshire

Assessing phosphomolybdic acid as a fingermark enhancement reagent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Lloyd W.L. Davis
  • Stephen M. Bleay
  • Paul F. Kelly
View graph of relations
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
Pages (from-to)257-280
JournalJournal of Forensic Identification
Journal publication date1 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


The efficacy of an ethanolic solution of phosphomolybdic acid (PMA) was investigated as a latent fingermark visualization reagent, primarily on porous substrates. After treating samples and exposing them to ultraviolet radiation, the PMA solution was shown to develop fingermarks of high quality. Unlike the common amino acid reagents that are used for the development of fingermarks on porous substrates (e.g., ninhydrin and 1,8 diazafluoren-9-one), PMA stains a range of other compounds that are found in fingermark deposits, including lipids. The lysochrome diazo dye Oil Red O (ORO) was used for comparative purposes because of its application in staining some of the same components of fingermark residues for which PMA would be proposed. Initial results indicate that PMA is comparable to ORO at developing fingermarks on porous surfaces and may also have applications on nonporous surfaces.

ID: 15394508