Researchers from ITMO University and St. Petersburg Academic University have developed a new technology for labeling genuine goods. Manufacturers will be able to mark electronics, medicines, jewelry and other goods with invisible images that can only be seen with special equipment. Labels will help protect your product from counterfeiting. Research published in Advanced Materials.
Companies all over are looking for ways to protect their products from counterfeiting. But the available methods only offer temporary solutions. Once attackers discover a way to circumvent existing security measures, the technology becomes completely useless. Russian scientists have proposed new labels that are not easy to decipher. They are made from semiconductor materials using lasers.
With the help of a laser, scientists add ions of a rare earth metal – erbium.
They create a unique image on the silicone nanofilm sticker. For this, first, an array of holes is made on the film, invisible to the naked eye. Some of these holes contain erbium ions, others do not. Erbium-filled holes change color under the influence of laser radiation. Thus, they enable scientists to read the image correctly.
It can take a long time for offenders to discover the content of such images. To do this, they will need to penetrate the shipping system, learn to operate the equipment, and learn how to read labels. These shortcuts are made even more secure with several customizable features.
The new labels are based on the luminescence of erbium ions. It is characterized by several parameters: intensity, wavelength and lifetime of the radiation. The combination of these options allows you to create additional layers of protection.
The developed system is resistant to chemical and mechanical influences; it can also be produced on a flexible film. According to Ivan Mukhin, head of a laboratory at St. Petersburg Academic University and a researcher at ITMO, these factors increase the technology’s potential for introduction into the economic sector right now.