Forgery of holograms and other security features on banknotes or security badges is on the increase. In collaboration with industrial partners, Attophotonics has developed new technologies for the fabrication of nano-coatings e.g. on intelligent nano-color glitter and films.
These special materials with their characteristic bright metallic colors have unique forgery-proof features: angle-dependent colors more distinct than those on euro bills; 3D glitter effect; 'no-copy' surface.
Sensory properties allow them to be used for temperature- insensitive time indicator labels. In Austria and Germany alone, economic damage arising from faulty food storage amounts to approx. 20 billion euros/ year. Sensory nano-color materials may help to stem this problem in the near future.
From lab know-how to technical application
The researchers translated nanotechnology know-how hitherto only available in the lab into manufacturing technologies. Processes with limited productivity such as centrifugation or spin have been overcome while environmental sutainability was increased at the same time by eliminating toxic chemicals.
In the course of the project, Attophotonics achieved a number of breakthroughs in intelligent nano-color pigments and films research: e.g. the development of an electrostatic glitter printer which allows integrating nanocolor glitter in printed matter, and the setting up of a machine with which coatings with a thickness of one molecule may be applied with nano-grade precision onto 20-30 cm wide films.
Two major enterprises, Forster (traffic engineering and advertising, printing technology for specialized products like security badges and flexible electronics) and MONDI (packaging and fine paper industry) secured their competitive advantage by participating in Attophotonics' research.
A globally active Austrian steelmaking company profited from implementing one of the nano-coating machines developed by Attophotonics. Cooperations between Austrian R&D companies and industrial enterprises in spin-off projects made the development of new basic technologies for high-tech products with export potential possible.