Development of a Generation of Novel Marker Particles
A generation of novel marker particles is being developed in particle technology of Fraunhofer ISC in Würzburg, Germany, which possess a high degree of individuality and differentiation and which alone or as an ensemble enable a unique fingerprint ("ID").
In addition to a passive proof of origin, it is becoming increasingly important to assign an active, communication-capable identifier to each object in order to support digitization and automation in production processes (Industry 4.0).
In terms of sustainability, the second-life sector should also be considered beyond the actual product life to the recycling of components and secondary raw materials. To close the cycle (cradle-to-cradle), an equally indestructible and unambiguous marking is therefore necessary.
For these reasons, it is of utmost interest to develop inexpensive and reliable techniques for labelling objects that meet all these requirements. The existing solutions are limited with regard to their miniaturization and universal applicability in any material or product components.
The marker technology is based on the fusion of nanoparticulate building blocks into microscale particles.
The nanoblocks form the information carriers, which can be equipped with different degrees of differentiation and detection options depending on the intended use, so that in borderline cases a single (sub)microparticle can suffice for unambiguous identification.
Physical effects of nanoscale enable object identification in order to address the "4N" (traceability, traceability, sustainability, imitation protection) and to meet the various requirements.
Basic materials, materials and product components can be marked permanently, inexpensively and sustainably and identified using simple physical methods.
The fingerprint function can not only be placed close to the surface and optically read out, but the information bundled on the microscale carriers or immanent in the carriers can also be detected from depth as hidden features.