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NJ NIR Ink and Dye Manufacturer Blazes Security Trail

Published on 2002-05-08. Author : SpecialChem

There has been considerable interest shown especially since 9/11 for more readily available and more secure inks. We observed a swing away from uv formulated systems because they are too easily counterfeited.

Emphasis is moving to the near infrared based formulations that are easily read with an infrared sensitive camera or a television camera fitted with a visible opaque filter. The variety of dyes that are available is large and the way they are applied leaves the designer with a number of attractive choices. For example, near infrared (NIR) ink can be used to print a bar code that is overlaid with a visible opaque dye.

A simple infrared reader or camera then reads the code. Text, photos and other messages can also be masked but readily seen in the same way. Because near infrared dyes have weak absorption over the visible light part of the spectrum, it is easy to mask the message with a colored ink.

The inks are also available in a number of different colors that will absorb near infrared light. These inks, when used as a background in credit cards, gives a transparent card that works well in money machines designed to accept only opaque cards. Because of their light color they can also be used as a varnish over pictures and text.

Epolin, Incorporated is the largest producer and marketer of NIR dyes as well as a number of NIR inks. They are located at 358-364 Adams Street, Newark, NJ 07105 and can be contacted at 973-465-9495 or at the above e-mail address for advice and sales of dyes and/or inks. In some cases, for a highly secure application, it is possible to have a specific dye, of unique structure and spectral properties, made into an ink and assigned exclusively to a customer.

Specially designed readers can then detect the specific absorption spectrum of the dye. This kind of secure system would be extremely difficult to counterfeit especially if the dye has a unique structure and properties.

Source: Epolin, Inc.


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