The utilization of the lanthanide shift reagent tris (6,6,7,7,8,8,8-heptafluoro-2,2-dimethyl-3,5-octanedionato) europium (III) [Eu(fod)3] as a simple one-step reagent for the luminescent visualization of latent fingerprints has been investigated. UV excitation of Eu(fod)3-treated prints, achieved by using a hand-held UV lamp or a Polilight®, results in an orange emission at 614 nm. Time-resolved imaging is not required for visualization. Visualization of latent fingerprints on paper under the conditions used, although good, was found to be inferior to that obtained by standard DFO (1,8-diazafluoren-9-one) treatment, whereas visualization of prints obtained on aluminum drink cans and galvanized iron proved superior to that obtained by Superglue/panacryl treatment. Eu(fod)3 treatment can also be used first without compromising subsequent ninhydrin or DFO treatment, making it a “nothing-to-lose” reagent.
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