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Technique Name:
Surface Used On:
Porous & Non-Porous surfaces.
Sensitive To:
Fatty & Oily components.
Development Color: Method to Record: Hazard: Protective Clothing: Fume Hood Use:


Reagent Characteristics

Development Complete When:

Source of Error:



Storage Container:



Similar Reagents

Sequential Reagents
(Not necessarily in this order.)

Abridged Reagent Sequence

Visual Examination
Forensic Light
*** Iodine ***
Physical Developer


Several commercial models of 
Iodine Fuming kits and 
chambers are available. Read 
manufacturer's instructions.

Pack about 1/2 teaspoon of
iodine crystals into the 
fuming kit/chamber.

Follow the 
manufacturer's instructions.

Prepare the photographic 
set-up by pre-setting 
camera lighting, aperature 
and shutter speed.

Low temperature heat is 
required to sublimate the 
iodine crystals into fumes.

Pass the fumes over the 
surface to be examined.

Photograph any developed 
detail immediately.

Ridge Detail Visualized by:

Visible chemical/stain reaction.

Reagent Applicabilities:

Porous sufaces
Non-Porous surfaces
Raw Wood surfaces

Other Chemical Name(s):

Iodine Vapor

Iodine crystals Shelf-life:


Process Summary:
A non-destructive fuming technique that can be used on porous and non-porous surfaces. The developed ridge detail dissipates quickly, so it is necessary to have previously set-up the photography that will be used to record any developed detail. Several commerical kits are available to be used for iodine fuming.
Accepted Deviations:
A "Liquid Iodine" method may be used if it is necessary to retard the dissipation of the developed detail, however the "non-destructive" character of iodine fuming is lost due to the application of liquid chemicals to the surface.

Fixing solutions containing Naphthoflavone can be applied. The application of this solution will interfere with sequential reagents.
Supporting Reference Materials:
1. Minutiae Magazine, Summer Special 1994, Issue No. 24, pg.7.
2. "Chemical Formulas and Processing Guide for Developing Latent Prints", U.S. Dept. of Justice, pg. 47-48, 1994.
3. Advances in Fingeprint Technology 2nd. Ed., Lee, H.C. & Gaensslen, R.E., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL., 2001.
4. Manual of Fingerprint Development Techniques 2nd. Ed., Home Office - Police Scientific Development Branch, White Crescent Press, Ltd., Luton, England, 2001.
5. Technical Notes, Lightning Powder Co. Inc., Salem, OR., 2001.

Return to: Main Page   ||  Porous Surfaces  ||  Non-Porous Surfaces  ||  Sebaceous Techniques  ||  Non-Destructive  ||  Raw Wood  ||  Glossy Papers  ]