Scientists at the CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (NIIST) here have won recognition for developing the know-how for indigenously manufacturing fluorescent pigments used to incorporate security features in currency notes and official documents.
Images made using these fluorescent inks are invisible under normal light. They turn visible only when viewed under UV light. Such fluorescent materials find anti-counterfeiting applications in bank notes, passports, and other high-security documents.
For the achievement, the NIIST was awarded the Certificate of Merit under the category of CSIR Technology Awards at the 80th Foundation Day celebrations of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) held in New Delhi on Sunday. The seven-member NIIST team involved in the project on security printing materials included Vijayakumar C., Jubi John, Sreejith Shankar P., Praveen V.K., Saju Pillai, Karunakaran V., and NIIST director A. Ajayaghosh.
What the NIIST team did was to identify molecules that can absorb UV light and emit different colours.
A normal organic molecule will decompose over time under harsh conditions. But a currency note has to last for a certain period of time. A passport had to last longer, Dr. Vijayakumar, Principal Scientist, Chemical Sciences and Technology Division, NIIST, said.