Everyone knows the small UV lamps near cash registers in supermarkets. They are used to verify whether banknotes are genuine. To do so, colorful snippets light up inside the note. The luminous particles that cause this consist of organic compounds. They are not suitable for high temperatures because, in such cases, the luminous particles disintegrate. 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, and high-value appliances in private households are sometimes 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.
“For our luminous pigments, we can achieve such temperature stability up to 600 degrees Celsius,” says INM’s Peter William de Oliveira. The developers at INM have succeeded in doing so 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.”