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Beyond Fingerprints Morphology: Chemical Mapping of Functional Groups

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Executive Summary

Fingerprints are one the oldest biometrics used in investigations. The fingerprint morphology is considered unique and immutable and it is routinely used to identify an individual from the mark found at the crime scene. The comparison is based solely on the ridges flow and on their discontinuities (i.e. the minutiae), without considering other information possibly embedded in the fingerprint itself. In this paper, the authors used a Fourier Transform InfraRed Micro-Spectroscopy (FT-IRMS) to obtain the morphology and the chemical map of functional groups in fingerprints. The FT-IRMS technique is able to acquire hyper-spectral images of the organic compounds present in the samples under examination. However, both sophisticated processing and user interaction are required to process the spectra and no fully automated procedure is currently available.

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