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Enhancing Clarity: Cyanoacrylate Ester Fuming Image Enhancement Solutions

by Kourosh Nikoui | Apr 4, 2023 | Cyanoacrylate Fuming Print Enhancement | Fingerprint Development
03 Enhancing Clarity

In the realm of forensic science, the development of fingerprints using cyanoacrylate ester fuming has long been a cornerstone technique for uncovering latent evidence. However, to further enhance the clarity and visibility of developed fingerprints, forensic experts have turned to specialized image enhancement solutions. One such solution, Rhodamine 6-G, has emerged as a valuable tool in the arsenal of forensic investigators. Join us as we explore the science behind Cyanoacrylate ester fuming image enhancement solutions and the role of Rhodamine 6-G in forensic fingerprint analysis.

Understanding Cyanoacrylate Ester Fuming

Cyanoacrylate ester fuming, also known as superglue fuming, is a widely used technique for developing latent fingerprints on a variety of surfaces. When exposed to cyanoacrylate fumes, the moisture and oils present in fingerprint residues react with the adhesive, forming a visible polymer film that outlines the ridges and furrows of the fingerprint. While cyanoacrylate fuming produces visible prints, the clarity and contrast of the developed images can sometimes be enhanced through additional techniques.

Image Enhancement Solutions

Image enhancement solutions are chemical compounds applied to developed fingerprints to improve their visibility, contrast, and photographic quality. These solutions can help forensic examiners obtain clearer images of developed prints, aiding in the identification and analysis of latent evidence. One commonly used enhancement solution is Rhodamine 6-G, a fluorescent dye that selectively stains the polymerized cyanoacrylate, resulting in enhanced contrast under specific lighting conditions.

Rhodamine 6-G: The Fluorescent Enhancer

Rhodamine 6-G is a synthetic fluorescent dye that exhibits strong absorption and emission properties in the visible spectrum. When applied to developed fingerprints, Rhodamine 6-G selectively stains the polymerized cyanoacrylate, enhancing the contrast between the ridge detail and the background surface. This selective staining enables forensic examiners to visualize the fingerprint with greater clarity, particularly when using alternative light sources such as ultraviolet (UV) or laser illumination.

Applications in Forensic Science

The use of Rhodamine 6-G as an image enhancement solution has become widespread in forensic laboratories worldwide, particularly in cases where traditional fingerprint development techniques may yield less distinct results. By improving the contrast and visibility of developed fingerprints, Rhodamine 6-G enables forensic examiners to extract valuable information from latent evidence, aiding in the identification of suspects and the resolution of criminal investigations.

Special protective goggles should be worn when viewing fluorescent fingerprints, as the enhanced fluorescence may be intense and potentially harmful to the eyes. Additionally, fingerprint images developed using Rhodamine 6-G should be photographed using special barrier filters that selectively transmit the fluorescent emissions while blocking out background illumination, ensuring accurate documentation of the enhanced fingerprints.


The use of image enhancement solutions such as Rhodamine 6-G represents a critical advancement in the field of forensic fingerprint analysis, enabling forensic examiners to extract maximum information from latent evidence. By enhancing the clarity, contrast, and visibility of developed fingerprints, Rhodamine 6-G plays a vital role in the identification and analysis of latent evidence, contributing to the pursuit of justice and the resolution of criminal investigations.


“Forensic Practitioner and Specialist Kourosh Nikoui, Principal Consultant and CEO of Nikoui & Associates, Forensic Identification Services & Consulting, Inc., has over 38 years of full-time experience in forensic science and criminal justice with various law enforcement agencies, government, and private entities. Mr. Nikoui, a court-qualified expert, is a Certified Latent Print Examiner, Certified Senior Crime Scene Analyst, and Certified Forensic Photographer by the International Association for Identification. He has testified as an expert witness over 150 times in California Superior and U.S. Federal Courts, processed evidence in over 30,000 criminal and civilian cases, and served as a consultant to numerous law enforcement agencies. Mr. Nikoui holds a BFA degree from USD and is an active member of multiple forensic science organizations. He can be reached directly by calling (888) 485-0832 or by email at [email protected].”
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