Duplicating and counterfeiting of goods is a growing problem across the world. Different anti-counterfeiting measures like printing barcodes or holograms can prevent counterfeiting of products.
Now nanotechnology may provide a solution to get rid of the menace of counterfeiting. The technology depends on the changes that happen in nanoparticles when subjected to certain conditions. These changes can be easily identified but the technology is difficult to copy or replicate.
Recently, researchers at the Advanced Polymer and Nanomaterial Laboratory (APNL) Tezpur University have developed a new, light emitting nanocomposite-based ink that is not visible under light but can be detected when kept under an ultra-violet light. The ink is quite useful in preventing counterfeiting on paper and plastic.
Niranjan Karak, Group Leader of APNL said, “The nanocomposite has an intricate structure to prevent imitation. By dispersing it in organic solvents like xylene, it transforms into an ink that can be used to mark a label. The liquid appears pale-yellow under visible light and glows with a cyan tint when exposed to UV light of specific length.”
The performance of the ink was tested by writing a few letters on paper and plastic. It was found that the letters were not visible in daylight, whereas when kept under UV light, it glowed with a cyan hue.
For convenience the ink can be loaded into the refill of a sketch or gel pen and has a shelf life of up to ten years and degrades in a few months only under the action of soil microbes.