The chemical development of latent fingerprints by nanocomposites that involve photoluminescent cadmium sulfide nanoparticle aggregates with Starburst® dendrimer is demonstrated. The dendrimer bonds to fingerprint residue via its terminal functional groups. When these are amino groups (generation 4 dendrimer), the binding is enhanced by fingerprint pre-treatment with diimide. The diimide converts carboxylic acid moieties of the fingerprint residue to esters that then react with the dendrimer amino groups to form amide linkages. The cadmium sulfide/generation 4 dendrimer development of fingerprints is enhanced by elevated temperature also. Finally, fingerprint development with carboxylate-functionalized cadmium sulfide/generation 3.5 dendrimer nanocomposites is examined. Here, diimide treatment of the dendrimer itself aids the subsequent fingerprint labeling, which involves amino acid of the figerprint residue. Nanocomposite fingerprint detection is compatible with time-resolved imaging for background fluorescence elimination.
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