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University, Start Up Develop Anti-Counterfeit Technology

Morpho butteryfly (ArmandoMaynez/Flickr)

Morpho butteryfly

A student at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada researched a new method based on nanotechnology for stopping counterfeiters, which has led to the founding of a new company to develop the product. Nanotechnology uses materials at nanometer scale, with one nanometer equal to one billionth of a meter.

Clint Landrock, an SFU applied sciences graduate student who has since graduated, started a research project under the guidance of engineering science professor Bozena Kaminska into the interaction of nanotechnology and light. His goal was replicate the natural phenomenon of tropical butterflies, which use unique patterns to absorb and reflect light to give off their signature colors.

The research led to nanostructures that could capture a single wavelength of light, 1,500 times thinner than a human hair. The nanostructures interact with light to produce a unique shimmering iridescence like the Costa Rican morpho butterfly (pictured right). The nanostructures act to reflect and refract light waves to produce the morpho’s signature blue wings and absorb other unwanted light.

Landrock and Kaminska pitched their idea to Doug Blakeway, SFU’s entrepreneur in residence, who was intrigued by the technology’s potential. One immediate application Blakeway saw for the discovery is paper currency. Paper currency, also called banknotes, contain several security features, such as hologram strips, security threads woven into the paper, watermarks, color-shifting inks, raised type, and UV inks.

The team of Landrock, Kaminska, and Blakeway founded I|D|ME Development Corp., to develop the technology into a product. Nanotech Security Corp., another company led by Blakeway, is taking the product, called N.O.t.E.S – Nano-Optic Technology for Enhanced Security, to market. According to Blakeway, the team’s discovery -– which has attracted the attention of treasuries internationally -– is superior to holograms and cannot be duplicated.

While the technology is first being applied to paper currency, it has other practical applications, including the authentication of legal documents, retail merchandise, concert tickets, stock certificates, visas, passports, and pharmaceuticals.

Photo: Armando Maynez/Flickr

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2 comments to University, Start Up Develop Anti-Counterfeit Technology

  • I have gone through the post, Good to hear, developing a Anti-Counterfeit Technology using the nanotechnology.It not only benefits the brand owner but also benefits the government as well as the consumer.Regarding the same issue when am searching I found a site http://www.esealinc.com on Anti-counterfeit Technology.

  • Tyler

    Anti-counterfeit Technology is so important as we continue to progress as a country. Another very interesting company in this space is Applied DNA Sciences http://www.adnas.com/
    looking forward to more blog posts on this topic