Thursday, December 23, 2010

Banknotes could incorporate electronic components to deter counterfeiters

Brett James
Dec. 23, 2010 (2:55 pm)

Nothing beats the feeling of a crisp $20 bill in your hand, but it appears that not even good old fashioned cash will escape the might of the modern 21st century as New Scientist revealed that bank notes in the future may have electronic circuits stamped directly into the notes.

Modern banknotes already contain up to 50 anti-counterfeiting features, but by adding an electronic element that is deigned to confirm a note’s authenticity researchers hope this will be able to deter counterfeiters and allow the police to track the notes more easily in the event of theft.

A team of German and Japanese researchers are behind the technological breakthrough. They managed to create arrays of thin-film transistors (TFTs) by carefully depositing gold, aluminium oxide and organic molecules directly onto the notes through a patterned mask, building up the TFTs layer by layer. These TFT layers can then give off a small voltage (3v) which could transmit a signal wirelessly and be read by an external reader.

So far the tech has been tested on U.S. dollars, Swiss francs, Japanese yen and Euro notes. Although it seems that researchers have yet to work out how the organic electronics could be harnessed as an anti-counterfeit measure.

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