Printed Lasers Protect Against Dangerous Knockoff Goods

Printed Lasers Protect Against Dangerous Knockoff Goods

Cambridge researchers have developed crystal lasers that can be printed onto product labels in a bid to make them more resistant to fraud.

Emma Hutchings
  • 8 november 2013

University of Cambridge researchers have developed a detection device that uses printed lasers to identify counterfeit goods. The detector could help make products more resistant to fraud.

Developed within the University’s Electrical Engineering Division by a team led by Dr. Damian Gardiner, the anti-fraud device could be used to identify fake pharmaceuticals, currency, and high-value goods.

Printed Lasers Protect Against Dangerous Knockoff Goods

It exploits a method for printing liquid crystal lasers with inkjet printers, giving the user a very precise level of control over the laser’s pattern and color combination. The detector then shines a second laser pulse onto the printed one, which reads the wavelength of the light emission through dedicated software and reproduces that reading as a pattern on a spectrograph.

Each printed laser can be designed to give out its own unique optical signature. As lasers can be printed onto lots of different surfaces, this technique could be used to authenticate a wide range of products. You can check out the anti-fraud lasers in the video below:

University of Cambridge

Sources: Wired, University of Cambridge

Images: University of Cambridge, YouTube

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