Elemental analysis and imaging of sunscreen fingermarks by X-ray fluorescence

Ling Na Zheng, Rong Liang Ma, Qian Li, Yuan Bo Sang, Hai Long Wang, Bing Wang, Qi Qi Yan, Dong Liang Chen, Meng Wang, Wei Yue Feng, Yu Liang Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Chemical composition in fingermarks could provide useful information for forensic studies and applications. Here, we evaluate the feasibility of analysis and imaging of fingermarks via elements by synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence (SRXRF) and commercial X-ray fluorescence (XRF). As a proof of concept, we chose four brands of sunscreens to make fingermarks on different substrates, including plastic film, glass, paper, and silicon wafer. We obtained an evident image of fingermarks via zinc and titanium by XRF methods. In addition, the ratios of element concentrations in sunscreen fingermarks were obtained, which were in accordance with the results obtained by acid digestion and ICP-OES analysis. In comparison, commercial XRF offers the most advantages in terms of non-destructive detection, easy accessibility, fast element images, and broad applicability. The possibility to acquire fingermark images simultaneously with element information opens up new avenues for forensic science. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Elemental imaging
  • Fingermark
  • Synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence
  • X-ray fluorescence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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