SpringerOpen Newsletter

Receive periodic news and updates relating to SpringerOpen.

Open Access Nano Express

Nanotag luminescent fingerprint anti-counterfeiting technology

Stefan Johansen, Michal Radziwon*, Luciana Tavares and Horst-Günter Rubahn

Author affiliations

Nano SYD, Mads Clausen Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Alsion 2, Sønderborg, DK6400, Denmark

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:262  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-262

Published: 22 May 2012

Abstract

We describe a method to fabricate, transfer and validate via image processing nanofibre-based, unique security marks (‘nanotags’) for anti-counterfeiting purposes. Epitaxial surface growth of oligophenylenes on a heated muscovite mica crystal results in a thin film of mutually aligned nanofibres with dimensions of tens of nanometres in height, hundreds of nanometres in width and tens to hundreds of micrometres in length. By applying a shadow mask, a film pattern is generated which contains only sparse, randomly grown nanofibres, which in turn represent a unique ‘fingerprint’ of the growth area. This fingerprint can be transferred on an adhesive tape as a label of a product, imaged using low magnification microscopy, digitalised and stored in a database. Infrared surface heating, enforced cooling and load lock transfer makes the fabrication process fast and scalable to mass production.

Keywords:
Anti-counterfeit; Organic nanofibres; Molecular beam epitaxy; Process optimisation