Novec fluid HFE-7100 is being used as a carrier solvent in latent fingerprint development on porous surfaces.
It is a selective solvent - as demonstrated by its inertness to most inks and does not dissolve the amino acids transferred to the porous substrate in a fingerprint. It's surface tension is much lower than hydrocarbon solvents like petroleum ether (13.6 mN/m vs. 20 mN/m), allowing Novec fluid HFE-7100 to more easily and thoroughly carry dissolved Ninhydrin or DFO to where it is most useful-namely the edges of the fingerprint ridges. And because HFE- 7100 fluid does not absorb moisture, ridge diffusion on the print is minimised.
Novec fluid HFE-7100 has zero ozone depletion potential, low global warming potential (GWP), low toxicity and is non-flammable.
Instructions for use with Ninhydrin or DFO can be found here.
Novec fluids are a new class of fluorochemicals derived from a technology developed specifically to balance performance needs with human concerns such as low toxicity, non-flammability and environmental acceptability.