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Anti-counterfeit is a critical research topic in the 21st century due to the expansion of the economy as well as the increasing counterfeit activity. Anti-counterfeiting labels and security inks are believed to be ideal candidates to enhance the security of various products. Currently, fluorescent materials, watermarks, and color-shift inks have been widely adopted. However, there is still a need for the next-generation anti-counterfeiting labels with novel security features. Herein, we introduce colloidal gold nanostars as a novel material for anti-counterfeit. This material could produce strong signals of surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) for encoded probe molecules. Those SERS signals are the unique fingerprint for the storage of security information. In our work, we demonstrated a production of colloidal SERS labels and a decoding method using principal component analysis. Furthermore, these colloidal labels could be used to produce security inks for handwriting and contact printing. It is anticipated that the high security of our method would benefit the development of next-generation anti-counterfeiting labels.

First Advisor

Chaoyang Jiang

Research Area