Possible areas of the use of nanotechnology

The word ’revolutionary’ often comes to the forefront in connection with the word ’nanotechnology’, as it offers completely new possibilities in many fields of our every-day life. Its application possibilities seem to be endless. They can play a part in the development of all industries from medical science as well as electronics to the printing industry. Its use in practice opens the possibility of producing products that provide higher security, efficiency and comfort in many fields of life.

Since 11 September 2001, intensive changes have been carried out all over the world. Security requirements have significantly increased, which faced both the state administration organizations and the security printing industry with new situations. Besides the strict personal identification requirements and introduction of biometric identifiers, further instruments will be required in the future to guarantee the security. One of these is the increase in applications of nanotechnology in the security printing industry as well as the application of nano-sized structures in order to develop the printing technology devices. Due to the agreement between Research Institute for Technical Physics and Material Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA MFA) and ANY Security Printing Company PLC, Hungary is a leader in this field of developments.

For many decades, an internationally known nanotechnological research has been carried out at the Research Institute for Technical Physics and Material Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA MFA). These results can be adapted to the printing industry. Due to the nano-sized structures, the development of new solutions for the security printing industry became evident guaranteeing competitive advantages, while these solutions are considered to be a rarity all over the world. The first step of the joint research and development activity focuses on the production of security inks and related solutions which may contribute to the prevention of document forgeries and the decrease of counterfeited products. Nanotechnology opens the possibility of producing inks that combine the stability and diversity of pigment-based printing inks with the advantages of ink-jet printing. Ink produced on the basis of this method has more intensive fluorescence, a higher chemical stability and better light resistance, which guarantee longer life spans and it can be used in official environments as well, for ink-jet printers that can be purchased at lower prices. In practice, the ink which can be applied to all surfaces may contribute to the fight against the black economy as well.

The application of security inks based on nanotechnology may mean a new security form in the future mainly for the industrial and service providing sectors, besides the state administration. The ink will be applicable as a special product marking element which can increase the range of brand protection elements, and the protection of high-value private documents can be realized by it as well; the ink that can be used in office environment can be useful even for banks, insurance companies and law offices as well. Simultaneously, cooperation between the Research Institute for Technical Physics and Material Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA MFA) and ANY Security Printing Company PLC will be to the advantage of the scientific sector as well, because it will be possible to micronize materials which have valuable features regarding document protection, as well as using materials which have been available only in the 5-10 micron-sized granulation range till now.

In addition, the application of nanotechnology in the printing industry opens the way for new products, which have been available only through the electronic industry up to the present. Such a possibility is, for instance, that a conductive ink can be produced which can be printed in one step by the use of nano-sized electronically conductive metal granulations and an appropriate fixing material. This will make, for example, the high-volume production of RFID antennas and other electronic parts considerably cheaper and will accelerate them as well.

The ANY Security Printing Company PLC won HUF 66 million support for its nanotechnology R&D project totaling HUF 164 million on the tender for the Central Hungary Operational Program of the New Hungary Development Plan. Use of the nanotechnology in security inks may contribute to reducing forgeries as well as the fight against the black economy. The trading partner of our Corporation in the development aiming at the production and use of nano-dispersions contained by the special security materials is the Research Institute for Technical Physics and Material Science, of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The production of inks applicable for inkjet printers and containing nano-sized security materialswill be realized by the support of the European Union, by co-financing of the European Regional Development Fund.

Info-line of the New Hungary Development Plan: +36 40 638 638.

nfu@meh.hu www.nfu.hu