Direct laser writing of anti-counterfeiting holographic structures on metal products

Krystian Lukasz Wlodarczyk, Marcus Ardron, Nicholas J. Weston, Duncan Paul Hand

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Trade of counterfeit products is a well-known, world-wide problem that causes serious harm to the global economy and society. Tackling this problem is not an easy task, and the manufacturers of genuine products must always be at least one step ahead of counterfeiters in order to protect and secure the intellectual property (IP). Currently, a range of different security markings are used. The most common are polymer holographic stickers that are attached to a product using adhesive. An attempt to remove such stickers results in permanent damage to the hologram, hence they cannot be applied again onto a forged item. However, such holograms are prepared by a replication process so forged holographic stickers can be manufactured at low cost.

In this presentation, we present a different approach for marking metal products in order to protect them from counterfeiting. In this case, a UV nanosecond pulsed laser is used for the generation of optically smooth craters on the surface of a metal. By producing such craters in specific locations, it is possible to generate holographic structures that contain information about the marked item (e.g. a serial number or part number). As will be shown during this presentation, the holograms are resistant to abrasion, high temperatures, and tampering because they are permanently embedded in a product. The laser-generated holograms can also contain additional security features, e.g. miniature signatures and identifiers invisible to the naked eye, which makes them a powerful weapon in the battle against counterfeiting practices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2019
Event6th UK Industrial Laser Applications Symposium 2019 - Crewe Hall, Crewe, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Mar 201921 Mar 2019


Conference6th UK Industrial Laser Applications Symposium 2019
Abbreviated titleILAS 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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