Picture of Super Glue Fingerprint Fuming

Fingerprinting is an important element of crime scene investigation. You may have heard that superglue (cyanoacrylate) can be used to develop finger prints. But you might not be aware that this technique can easily be performed at home with everyday materials. So in this project, I am going to teach you how to develop fingerprints with the super glue fuming method.

Step 1: Background: Super Glue (cyanoacrylate)

Picture of Background: Super Glue (cyanoacrylate)
Cyanoacrylate is the generic name for a family of strong, fast-acting adhesives that are generally labeled as "Super Glue." In fingerprint fuming, the vapors of cyanoacrylate react with the chemicals that are found in fingerprints. This reaction leaves behind a white film that can be photographed, or copied onto tape strips. The resulting images can be further enhanced with powder of a contrasting color or photo editing software.

When using cyanoacrylate glue for fingerprint fuming, it is important to keep in mind that these glues have a short shelf life of about one year from manufacture if unopened, or about one month once opened.

Safety Notes:
1. The vapors of cyanoacrylate are toxic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyanoacrylate#Toxicity). Take the appropriate precautions to avoid accidental inhalation. 
2. Super glue bonds to skin quickly and can easily stick your fingers together. If this happens you can soften the glue with a solvent such as acetone (nail polish remover).
3. Cyanoacrylate reacts strongly with cotton or wool and can burn skin. 

gluefarm1 year ago

This is a nice and simple . Thanks for sharing....http://gluefarm.in/methods-tips-to-store-super-glue-or-cyanoacrylate-glue.

RangerJ2 years ago
A small fan helps distribute the fumes, perhaps a little one outside the box - otherwise, it would get coated, too.

Lucky7x72 years ago
Great job! Did this as a project in college, pretty cool that this technique was by accident in Japan.