High-security identification that cannot be counterfeited

May 26, 2020

Tsukuba, Japan - Try whispering at one end of the Echo Wall in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. People at the far end of the curved wall will still hear you, from 65 meters away. This is the whispering-gallery effect. Now, researchers from Japan have used the underlying principles of the whispering-gallery effect to stop counterfeiters in their tracks.

High-security identification should be exceptionally resistant to counterfeiting. Unfortunately, identity thieves eventually learn how to duplicate even highly complex patterns. The only way to permanently defeat identity thieves is to create a pattern that is impossible to duplicate.

In a study published this month in Materials Horizons, researchers from the University of Tsukuba used whispering-gallery waves to create a pattern that cannot be duplicated. In so doing, they created a new, impenetrable anti-counterfeiting system.

"Instead of using sound waves, we used light waves to follow the concave surface of micrometer-size dye particles," explains Professor Yohei Yamamoto, senior author of the study. "This creates a complex color pattern that cannot be counterfeited."

To create their millimeter-size microchips, the researchers first deposited small dye particles, where fluorescence from the particles can be turned on and off. They then selectively lit up the chip in a defined pattern; regions of bright particles, and regions of dark particles.

Each dye particle has a unique diameter and shape. Because of the principles that underpin the whispering-gallery effect--in this case, light instead of sound--the fluorescence emitted by each particle is unique. This creates a unique color pattern, a fingerprint, across the microchip that is impossible to reproduce or forge.

"We attained a pixel density of several million per square centimeter on our optimized microchips," says Professor Yamamoto. "We have developed a high-security, two-step optical authentication system: the micropattern itself, and the underlying pixel-by-pixel fluorescence fingerprint of the microchip."

The researchers used their technology to create a millimeter-size approximation of the Mona Lisa. This approximation contains a unique, embedded fluorescence fingerprint that cannot be duplicated.

Businesses, governments, and many other organizations require unambiguous authentication that cannot be forged. By using a microchip that is impossible to counterfeit, high-security organizations have a new option for preventing fraud, ensuring secrecy, and vouching for the integrity of data and equipment.

University of Tsukuba

Related Fingerprint Articles from Brightsurf:

Shared protein fingerprint could simplify treatment of common inherited heart disease
University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists discovered that many different genetic mutations result in surprisingly similar changes to heart muscle proteins in patients with the most severe manifestations of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Each human gut has a viral 'fingerprint'
Each person's gut virus composition is as unique as a fingerprint, according to the first study to assemble a comprehensive database of viral populations in the human digestive system.

Atomic fingerprint identifies emission sources of uranium
Depending on whether uranium is released by the civil nuclear industry or as fallout from nuclear weapon tests, the ratio of the two anthropogenic, i.e. man-made, uranium isotopes 233U and 236U varies.

Prostate cancer 'fingerprint' detected in blood sample
Scientists at UCL have invented a new test to identify the earliest genetic changes of prostate cancer in blood: a process which could allow doctors to see if cancers have spread, monitor tumor behavior and enable better treatment selection.

Experimental fingerprint test can distinguish between those who have taken or handled cocaine
An experimental fingerprint detection approach can identify traces of cocaine on human skin, even after someone has washed their hands -- and the test is also smart enough to tell whether an individual has actually consumed the class A drug, or simply handled it.

OU study finds the fingerprint of paddy rice in atmospheric methane concentration dynamics
A University of Oklahoma-led study shows that paddy rice (both area and plant growth) is significantly related to the spatial-temporal dynamics of atmospheric methane concentration in monsoon Asia, where 87% of paddy rice fields are situated in the world.

Fingerprint test can distinguish between those who have taken or handled heroin
A state-of-the-art fingerprint detection technology can identify traces of heroin on human skin, even after someone has washed their hands -- and it is also smart enough to tell whether an individual has used the drug or shaken hands with someone who has handled it.

A precise chemical fingerprint of the Amazon
This novel drone-based chemical monitoring system tracks the health of the Amazon in the face of global climate change and human-caused deforestation and burning.

Canadian astronomers determine Earth's fingerprint
Two McGill University astronomers have assembled a 'fingerprint' for Earth, which could be used to identify a planet beyond our Solar System capable of supporting life.

Fingerprint of sleep habits as warning sign for heart disease
Chronic short sleep is associated with increased risk of clogged arteries, heart disease, and thus increased morbidity and mortality.

Read More: Fingerprint News and Fingerprint Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.