Tapioca-derived carbon dots for anti-counterfeiting applications

Scientists have formulated an eco-friendly security ink using tapioca-derived carbon dots for anti-counterfeiting applications in flexography printing.

Tapioca is made from the processed and dried cassava root.  Image source: feraugustodesign - Pixabay (symbol image).

Counterfeiting of high-value items is a challenging menace worldwide, and luminescent nanoparticles-based security inks have promising applications while addressing this global issue. As Carbon dots (CDs) show attractive functional properties, hydrophilic CDs were prepared through hydrothermal approach from tapioca starch as an eco-friendly precursor. CDs with bluish-green fluorescence emission under 365 nm UV light illumination was obtained using column chromatography technique.

Eco-friendly ink formulation

An eco-friendly water-based security ink for flexography printing was formulated, and the influence of the ink components on the fluorescence of CDs were studied. The prints displayed good abrasion resistance, densitometry and colorimetric values. The letters written using the invisible ink exhibited good security features including excellent covertness under daylight, and a bluish-green emission under 365 nm UV light. Moreover, a yellow emission was perceived using a yellow-orange pass filter under the same light source. The surface morphology and electrical property investigations suggested the use of flexo-ink in flexible printed electronics for anti-counterfeiting.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 173, December 2022.

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