Silver nanowires-based nanoscale Fingerprints developed to protect credit cards

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Scientists from South Korea had developed Silver nanowires-based nanoscale fingerprints.

This nanoscale fingerprint would help protect the credit cards and other gadgets. The research was published in March 2014 in the journal Nanotechnology.

Lead author of the research was Professor Hyotcherl Ihee from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and the Institute for Basic Science.

Silver nanowires based Nano fingerprints are made by randomly placing 20 to 30 individual nanowires, each with an average length of 10 to 50 micro metre. The nanowire pattern would be based on a thin plastic film. The wire would be embedded into credit card to make it impossible to counterfeit the object.

The nanowire pattern is invisible to the naked eye. The nanowire pattern can be tagged with a unique ID, or bar code, which could enable a quick search in a database and ease the process of authentication or counterfeit identification.

The pattern was prepared by synthesizing a solution containing individual silver nanowires, coating the nanowires with silica, doping them with specific fluorescent dyes and then randomly dropping them onto a transferable film made from flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

The fluorescent dyes allowed the patterns to be authenticated under an optical microscope and could add another layer of complexity to the fingerprints if a number of different coloured dyes are used.

The fingerprints could be produced at a cost of less than 1 US Dollar per single pattern.