KolourOptik from Nanotech uses microstructures to secure products and make them difficult to counterfeit.


  • Anti-counterfeiting
  • Enhanced security


  • Banknotes
  • Tickets
  • Security cards
  • ID tags

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 11: Sustainable Cities & Communities

The Challenge

Counterfeiting is a major problem worldwide and costs companies and governments billions of dollars every year. Passports, banknotes, immunity certificates, identification documents and tax stamps all require enhanced security in order to protect from counterfeits.

Innovation Details

KolourOptik® combines sub-wavelength nanostructures and microstructures to create security features with a unique and customizable visual effect. KolourOptik pure plasmonic color pixels mimic the nanostructures found on butterfly wings that produce structural color. The result is a unique identification that produces full color, 3D depth and movement that is nearly impossible to replicate. At less than 5 microns thick, KolourOptik products seamlessly integrate into banknotes and other secure government documents. Nanotech has also modified this technology to make labels for consumer products, such as packaging and pharmaceuticals. This technology is known as LumaChrome®.

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Biological Model

Blue morpho butterflies do not use to create the bright blue color on their wings. Instead, their wings have a layered microstructure that causes light waves that hit the surface of the wing to diffract and interfere with each other, so that certain color wavelengths cancel out while others, such as blue, are intensified and reflected.