Is ‘fluorescent 3D’ the next big step in counterfeiting deterrence?

Researchers in Germany testing new technique that could be used on paper money
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 11/30/17
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Researchers at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the optical manufacturing company Zeiss are working on a potential new method of counterfeit deterrence — fluorescent 3D. 

Karlsruhe nanotechnology professor Martin Wegener explains in 3D Printer and 3D Printing News, “Today, optical security features such as holograms are frequently based on two-dimensional microstructures ... By using 3D printed fluorescent microstructures, counterfeit protection can be increased.” 

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The researchers believe that their technique could be one of the best systems yet devised to establish authenticity in a range of documents and other products. Their microstructures are 100 micrometers or 0.00393701 inches in length. Despite being invisible to the naked eye, the team says they are proving effective. They can be embedded into the transparent windows of paper currency and special scanners can then be used at cash registers to read them. One of their intriguing characteristics, they say, is that “security features produced in this way are not only of individual character, but also very complex in manufacture. This makes life difficult to forgers.” 

Their full report, 3D Fluorescence-Based Security Features by 3D Laser Lithography,can be read here.

Some ‘mule’ coins may not be mules at all Also this week, although its low price makes counterfeit sales less profitable, the American Eagle silver bullion coin's popularity makes it a target.


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