- The new technology includes ink largely due to the creation of special colloidal inks.
- Counterfeit market continues to thrive amid coronavirus pandemic.
- It took 5 years to develop.
The Russian scientists from the ITMO University conjointly from the chemical and biological departments have developed an inkjet printing technology that allows you to apply color images of individual execution, which can be seen through the smartphone screen. The new technology will help protect manufacturers from counterfeiting their products.
ITMO University is a large state university in Saint Petersburg and is one of Russia’s National Research Universities.
Counterfeit products continue to be a big issue. China is the world largest offender pertaining such goods. Counterfeit products have been known to even fund terrorist activities.
Last month, Chinese nationals were arrested for installing chips inside fake Louis Vuitton bags to track individuals in the West on behalf of the Chinese government.
Moreover, to design the new technology, the Russian scientists have been working for 5 years to apply high-resolution organized nano structures using solution chemistry methods in accessible ways.
To get the effect of images invisible to the naked eye, it was possible largely due to the creation of special colloidal inks based on nano scale cellulose particles that can be located in a special way on the surface.
The market for printing materials that can protect products from counterfeit products is growing exponentially. For these purposes, various QR codes and special information signals are used, but we would like to have more accessible methods for manufacturers, without attracting large investments.
The use of inkjet printing methods to protect against falsification can significantly simplify the process of starting production of packaging products, but this requires a serious long-term study of the chemical composition of the ink, ” says Alexander Vinogradov, Director of the ITMO University chemical and biological cluster.
If nano particles are distributed randomly during normal application, then a special inkjet printing mode forms a nano architecture of particles strictly parallel to each other.
The selected thickness of the coatings formed during the deposition of ink leads to the appearance of the necessary optical effects observed in polarized light. For example, the color optical response of a printed drawing can be easily observed through the screen of a smartphone or any other LCD screen.
“This is achieved by programming nano particles in solution, when we give them properties in advance, knowing their charge, ionic strength, characteristics of solutions and what indicators should be when printing.” explains Alexander Vinogradov.
“Taking into account all these things, we select the ink concentration and modify them so that the dynamics of nano particles, their mutual repulsion and attraction would not allow them to form a chaotic distribution, but would promote a parallel location relative to each other.”
In this way, you can print any full color transparent image, a number, letter, or some kind of drawing, or logo. Potentially, such “watermarks” can be used on goods, banknotes, tickets and other objects that need to be protected by the manufacturer.
The full work titled “Printing of colorful cellulose nano crystalline patterns visible in linearly polarized light” is available here.
Overall, this is very promising technology and an additional tool to combat counterfeit products.