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Back You are here: Inicio New materials Success stories Distinkt, a new ICN2, CSIC and UAB company, will commercialise high-security inks based on nanotechnology

Distinkt, a new ICN2, CSIC and UAB company, will commercialise high-security inks based on nanotechnology

The inks are based on nano and micro particles that change colour or fluoresce when irradiated with infrared light. They are dynamic and adaptable, therefore they can be customised to produce various results. The solution helps to combat counterfeiting of official documents, banknotes, luxury products and other goods.

A team of researchers and entrepreneurs has launched the company Distinkt, which arose from the research of scientists Àlex Julià-López (ICN2), Claudio Roscini (ICN2), Daniel Ruiz-Molina (CSIC research professor) and Jordi Hernando (professor in the Department of Chemistry at UAB). El desarrollo se ha gestado en el laboratorio del grupo Nanosfun, dirigido por Daniel Ruiz-Molina at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2, a consortium centre CSIC-UAB-Generalitat de Catalunya).

The company Distinkt will commercialise a new generation of high-security fluorescent inks based on nanotechnology, which promises to revolutionise the market for nanotechnology-based security inks.

The breakthrough innovation consists of a powder containing nano and micro particles that change colour or fluoresce when irradiated with infrared light. The ink is dynamic and adaptive, so it can be customised and its effect can be adjusted to produce various results.

From left to right: Àlex Julià (technical director of Distinkt), Luca Venza (general director of Distinkt), Jordi Hernando (researcher at the Department of Chemistry of the UAB), Claudio Roscini (scientific director of Distinkt), Sadie Raney (finance director of Distinkt), Daniel Ruiz-Molina (CSIC researcher and head of the Nanosfun group at ICN2).

The nanoparticles are easily integrated into existing inks. They are invisible to the human eye, but visible when exposed to a specific light, and provide a dynamic and unique signature: they can change their colour from time to time or show a different effect depending on the type of light applied.

"The technology we have developed introduces a level of complexity never before seen in tools to combat counterfeiting"

The inks can be used to stamp signs, barcodes or QR codes on any material or object, from banknotes to official documents, bags to cosmetic products, to certify their authenticity.

"To fight counterfeiting, governments and companies must constantly design and manufacture innovative badges with invisible inks, but current solutions are unfortunately easy to falsify once their pattern is known. The technology we have developed introduces a level of complexity never before seen in anti-counterfeiting tools, because thanks to nanotechnology we achieve ink effects that are impossible to reproduce 100%," emphasizes Luca Venza, CEO of the company.

The company has already initiated contacts with sectors that can be interested in the technology, like companies that supply paper banknotes and official documents to governments, since the technology can be easily integrated into their inks at a reduced price, but offering a very high degree of security.

Company sources estimate that in ten years they could be "on every banknote in the world", as well as with packaging and luxury goods companies, which could apply Distinkt's technology to improve their authenticity seals.