What is phosphor?
Phosphor refers to microscopic ceramic particles that provide a response when illuminated with various types of concentrated light. If you’re wondering, “what are phosphors used for?” the most common answers are currency, tax revenue stamps, security labels and packaging security.
Down-conversion phosphor displays fluorescence down the spectrum when excited by a concentrated light. IR to IR phosphor particles are:
- Easy to implement due to small size (~3 microns)
- Colorless and invisible to the human eye at usage concentrations
- Easy to detect with automatic yes-no verification
- Completely stable to heat and light exposure
Phosphor systems are widely used, and are often considered successful—however, not all successes are equal. Phosphors are well understood—even by counterfeiters—and inexpensive beepers and phosphor detectors are relatively easy to fool, resulting in false-positive readings.
Any opportunity for weakness impacts overall security
Microtrace specializes in a variety of down-conversion materials and provides response signatures that are more unique. Our IR down conversion solutions are easy to implement, yet create a high level of security in controlled print or coating applications by optimizing two key implementation processes—the application of the phosphor, and the detection and analysis.
Print consistency is a contributing factor to phosphor security. To achieve the greatest level of consistency possible, Microtrace:
- Formulates IR to IR phosphors in high-viscosity security inks to help prevent separation and improve uniformity
- Provides options for inline reader systems to monitor printing and detect issues as they arise
- Gives print specifications to printers
- Offers pre-printed security labels and taggant transfers to achieve the greatest level of consistency, and therefore security
Phosphor detectors and analysis
Microtrace pairs down-converting phosphors and application specifications with tightly programmed phosphor detectors that are ready for use upon delivery. This ensures detectors will be more difficult for counterfeiters to fool or mimic creating a superior solution that is more secure than a traditional phosphor system.
Working with Microtrace on finished materials, plus pre-programmed detectors means you get the highest levels of security, and don’t need to have any margin of error factored in—unlike working with traditional phosphor powder suppliers.