Scientists just created a pattern that, according to researchers Iphone Cases, is impossible to duplicate or forge, a feat that could quash counterfeiters.
The key to these patterns lies in a two-step verification system that incorporates both micropatterns and the same principles used in whispering galleries, according to the researchers LG Cases, from the University of Tsukuba in Japan.
In a traditional whispering gallery, two large, concave dishes are placed at opposite ends of a long hallway. A whisper into one of these plastic dishes can be heard clearly by someone standing in the other one down the hall. Entire rooms can also be whispering galleries, such as St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. There is also an unintended whispering gallery in the lower concourse of Grand Central Station in New York City. All of these spaces have a few things in common. They are all rounded and their surfaces project sound to unexpected places. For the new impossible-to-duplicate patterns, the researchers used light waves reflected inside of a microscopic chamber, instead of sound waves in a gigantic room.
The anti-counterfeit micropatterns created by the Tsukuba researchers are designed to be used for authentication purposes. Security measures such as these often embed physical functions into the product during the manufacturing process. In this case, researchers were able to embed a phenomenon produced by light waves into a microscopic image.
To create the patterned microscopic image, described May 6 in the journal Materials Horizons, the researchers embedded a light-wave fingerprint under a teensy, 1-millimeter-wide drawing of Mona Lisa, which is about one-tenth the size of a key on your keyboard. That tiny image contains millions of evenly spaced pixels per square centimeter.