Everyone knows the small UV lamps at cash desks in supermarkets. They are used to verify whether banknotes are genuine. Colorful snippets light up inside the note. The luminous particles which cause this consist of organic compounds. However, they disintegrate at high temperatures. They therefore cannot be used to provide counterfeiting protection for objects that are subjected to high temperatures.
Now research scientists at INM – Leibniz-Institute for New Materials have developed luminous particles that can also withstand high temperatures. When activated by UV light or x-rays, they glow orange red.
Engine components in cars, high-grade machinery for the industrial sector or high-value appliances in private households – some of these everyday objects are subjected to high temperatures when used. Original automotive components and the corresponding spare parts are a seal of quality for manufacturers and consumers:
For the driver, original components mean that the risk of accident is lower. Originality of the parts can only be proven, if the counterfeit protection also withstands high temperatures and can be read easily. A missing counterfeit protection on forged spare parts guards the original manufacturer from claims for compensation.
“For our luminous pigments, we can achieve such temperature stability up to 600°C,” says INM’s Peter William de Oliveira, Head of the Innovation Center. The developers at INM have succeeded by using a manufacturing method applying wet chemical processes.
“The particles not only fulfill the demands of high temperatures but through the addition of suitable solvents, they can also be converted into printable paste. Consequently, they can easily be printed onto many materials using screen printing, for example,” he explains.
Using luminous pigments made of yttrium oxide or gadolinium oxide, printed designs are created in white or transparent that glow orange red in UV light or x-rays. With different manufacturing conditions, particles between 7 and 600 nm can be achieved allowing the researchers to take the different requirements and processes of industry into account.