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Laser Surface Authentication: Using Nature's own fingerprint to detect fraud

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In this talk I describe a new technology called Laser Surface Authentication (LSA) which is currently being piloted by a number of major manufacturing companies as a means of detecting counterfeit products and tracing the origin of smuggled goods. Based on the physics of diffuse laser scattering as a nanometrology probe [1], LSA allows the micro- and nano-scale surface topography of any item to be measured and digitised rapidly to form a unique, naturally-occurring fingerprint that can be used to authenticate and trace everything from nuclear devices to shampoo bottles. In this talk I will describe the underlying physics, the technological challenges and the experience of bringing the technology to market through a spin-out company.

[1] Buchanan, Cowburn et al. Nature 436, 475 (2005)

This talk is part of the Nanoscience Centre Seminar Series series.

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