31 Mar 2021 -
 Defence

Invisible labels could help fight counterfeit electronics

Russian researchers have developed a new laser technology for marking electronics and other goods with invisible images that can only be seen with special equipment, writes Electronics Weekly.

“With a laser, we add ions of a rare-earth metal called erbium that create a unique image on a sticker made of a silicone nanofilm. To do that, we first make a lattice of holes on the film that are invisible to the naked eye. Some of these holes contain erbium ions, others don’t. When subjected to laser radiation, the holes with erbium change color – and thus they allow us to correctly read the image,” explains Dmitriy Zuev, head of the project, assistant professor at ITMO’s Department of Physics and Engineering.

The system is resistant to chemical and mechanical effects, it also can be made on a flexible film. According to Ivan Mukhin, head of a laboratory at St. Petersburg Academic University and a researcher at ITMO, all of this adds to the technology’s potential to be introduced into the real sector of economy.

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