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Protective marking

Highly secure product marking with micro markers.

Micro markers or microdots are thin-film objects of a round or hexagonal shape with the following characteristic dimensions: diameter – 1 mm, thickness – 0.1 mm. Microtext is put onto a microdot, which in a particular case may contain information about the manufacturer, batch number, release date and other necessary information. Cryptographic methods can be used to protect the microtext from unauthorized use. The microtext can be read and recognized by a special reading system.

The appearance of a microdot is shown on the following figure.

Microdots are put onto the object to be marked by spraying a suspension of microdots in an adhesive; so the microdots can be put onto any objects and surfaces. For marking of powder materials, pastes and compositions, including explosives, the microdots can be embedded into the volume of the material.
In order to detect and identify the microdots, UV and IR anti-Stokes phosphors are applied to them.
For working with microdots, the Scientific Instruments JSC company has developed a set of specialized technical systems. This set includes UV and IR illuminators (for detecting microdots), an additional identification device (to confirm that a micro object is indeed a special marking element), as well as a special system for reading and recognizing information.
By means of UV and IR illuminators, whose appearances are shown below, the operator illuminates the assumed location of the microdots, detecting them by their characteristic glow. 

Luminescence of microdots under the influence of UV (left) and IR (right) radiation (when observed through a microscope)

An additional identification device registers anti-Stokes luminescence in the IR spectral region when excited by IR radiation with a different wavelength. Detection of such luminescence means that the found microdot belongs to a certain class of marking microdots, which contain a special phosphor used to protect the microdot from counterfeiting.


In order to read and decrypt the information located on the microdot, a special reader equipped with a laptop is used.

The system works as follows. The operator presses the reader against the surface on which the microdot is located and initiates the reading process. A series of magnified images of microdots that got into the reader's visibility area is passed to a computer. The computer is equipped with a special program that recognizes microtext and decrypts information.

The power to the devices of the system is supplied from batteries. To recharge the batteries, a specialized charger is used.

The set of technical means for working with microdots developed by the Scientific Instruments JSC company includes all the necessary components: UV and IR illuminators, an additional identification device, as well as a special system for reading and recognizing information, equipped with a laptop.

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