Holographic ink developed for inkjet printers

Holographic ink developed for inkjet printers

Article from The Recycler Magazine.

November 25, 2015

Office printers can now produce the holographic images that are commonly used to tackle the counterfeiting of manufactured goods.

Scientists at ITMO University in Saint Petersburg, Russia, have developed the nanocrystalline ink, which can be loaded into an inkjet printer and then deposited onto microembossed paper, creating “unique patterned images”, EurekAlert reported.

Holograms of “practically any size” can be printed on transparent film “in a matter of minutes”, rather than over several days using conventional methods, which involve creating a master hologram, involving temperature control and vibration isolation, to be laser recorded onto a thin layer of photosensitive polymer and then embossed using a metallic matrix.

The new technique involves simply covering the microembossed paper with varnish, meaning the holographic image is exclusively seen in the areas where the protective ink is deposited.

Project supervisor Alexander Vinogradov said: “The peculiarity of our ink lies in its high refractive index in all visible range of light. The use of nanocrystalline ink forms a layer with high refractive index that helps preserve the rainbow holographic effect after the varnish or a polymer layer is applied on top.”

David Connett, Editor of The Recycler, said: I am always amazed at the applications inkjet printing seems to be capable of and this is another great example.

“Obviously there are issues around the possibility of holograms being counterfeited, which happens already. But the real benefit is that it brings the opportunity of this technology into the mainstream of printing and could be developed into a bespoke retail or service option.”