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News

Genuine security

Bayer MaterialScience AG : 01 March, 2005  (Company News)
Genuine or fake? Whether it
In an article in the current issue of research, the Bayer Scientific Magazine, company scientists explain how this innovative, forgery-proof data storage system functions and what applications it has.

Researchers at Bayer MaterialScience have developed a special plastic film that can store data using a particular type of laser light that encodes the information in the form of a hologram. A hologram that, unlike the shiny figures visible on the silver strip in banknotes, cannot be read with the naked eye because it appears as a shimmering, confused pattern. Anyone wanting to read the information needs a second laser, and must also know what type of laser was used to write on the film. This method of encoding data in the material itself makes the plastic film much more forgery-proof than computer chips.

The secret of this plastic lies in its structure. Bayer’s experts have developed a new breed of long-chain molecules known as photoaddressable polymers (PAPs). Under certain kinds of laser light these polymer chains align in parallel, thereby creating patterns in the plastic – the holograms.

As well as providing a certificate of genuineness, the PAP films can also prevent or permit admission to security-sensitive buildings. Bayer Innovation GmbH, for example, used identity cards incorporating PAP film to develop high-security admission control systems in which unique physical characteristics such as finger prints or the iris are stored.
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