We report the development of a laser-based process for the direct writing (‘microsculpting’) of unique security markings (reflective phase holograms) on the surface of metals. In contrast to the common approaches used for unique marking of the metal products and components, e.g., polymer holographic stickers which are attached to metals as an adhesive tape, our process enables the generation of the security markings directly onto the metal surface and thus overcomes the problems with tampering and biocompatibility which are typical drawbacks of holographic stickers. The process uses 35ns laser pulses of wavelength 355nm to generate optically-smooth deformations on the metal surface using a localised laser melting process. Security markings (holographic structures) on 304-grade stainless steel surface are fabricated, and their resulted optical performance is tested using a He–Ne laser beam of 632.8nm wavelength.
- Laser material processing
- Surface modification
- Diffractive optics
- Laser marking
Wlodarczyk, K. L., Ardron, M., Waddie, A. J., Dunn, A., Kidd, M., Weston, N. J., & Hand, D. P. (2015). Laser microsculpting for the generation of robust diffractive security markings on the surface of metals. Journal of Materials Processing Technology, 222, 206-218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2015.03.001