Anti-counterfeit hologram could aid high-value manufacturers

A tamper-proof hologram is being developed that could replace serial numbers and barcodes, reducing the trade in counterfeit goods.

Manufacturers of high value items such as electronics and aviation parts (but also short-run valuables like jewellery and watches ) usually etch serial numbers into products, use bar codes or place polymer holographic stickers to provide identification and traceability of products and to assure customers of quality. However, serial numbers and bar codes can be damaged and stickers are vulnerable to tampering and counterfeiting.

A team of scientists led by Professor Duncan Hand at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, are using an ultra-violet nanosecond-pulsed laser to sculpt unique holograms with micro-sized features directly onto the surface of metals, including alloys such as steel and inconel, or glass, making them tamperproof, they claim.

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