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posted by janrinok on Sunday November 23 2014, @07:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the there-is-always-blow-on-money... dept.

Scientific American reports that simply breathing on money could soon reveal if it's the real deal or counterfeit thanks to a photonic crystal ink developed by Ling Bai and Zhongze Gu and colleagues at Southeast University in Nanjing, China that can produce unique color changing patterns on surfaces with an inkjet printer system which would be extremely hard for fraudsters to reproduce. The ink mimics the way Tmesisternus isabellae – a species of longhorn beetle – reversibly switches its color from gold to red according to the humidity in its environment. The color shift is caused by the adsorption of water vapor in their hardened front wings, which alters the thickness and average refractive index of their multi-layered scales.

To emulate this, the team made their photonic crystal ink using mesoporous silica nanoparticles, which have a large surface area and strong vapor adsorption capabilities that can be precisely controlled. The complicated and reversible multi-color shifts of mesoporous CPC patterns are favorable for immediate recognition by naked eyes but hard to copy. "We think the ink's multiple security features may be useful for anti-fraud applications," says Bai, "however we think the technology could be more useful for fabricating multiple functional sensor arrays, which we are now working towards."

 
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  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Monday November 24 2014, @03:05AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Monday November 24 2014, @03:05AM (#119294) Journal

    Funny how the only requirement for money these days is that it be non-copyable. Whether it's BlowBills or BitCoin, the only thing that makes it money is how hard it is to make your own.

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  • (Score: 2) by jcross on Monday November 24 2014, @02:34PM

    by jcross (4009) on Monday November 24 2014, @02:34PM (#119411)

    Is there some type of money that isn't that way? Seems to me like even gold and cowrie shells have that property.

    • (Score: 2) by jcross on Monday November 24 2014, @02:39PM

      by jcross (4009) on Monday November 24 2014, @02:39PM (#119414)

      I guess that unlike BitCoins, gold and cowrie shells are also pretty, but then shiny beetle wing ink could be as well.

  • (Score: 1) by monster on Monday November 24 2014, @05:33PM

    by monster (1260) on Monday November 24 2014, @05:33PM (#119477) Journal

    It was always that way. What it requires now, and may be a problem for this tech to be used, is to also be cheaper to produce than its nominal value.

    Copper cents were retired because of that. Even the low value euro cents are in danger of disappearing (not just being substituted, but outright retirement) because of it.