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Proceedings Paper

Optical security elements based on waveguide effects
Author(s): Martin Possolt; Marek Škereň; Jakub Svoboda
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Paper Abstract

Optical document security represents an important field of application of analogue and synthetic diffractive structures. Most of the security elements are based on visual effects formed by diffraction on a structure with the details in the order of hundreds of nanometers. However, to improve the anti-counterfeiting properties of these structures, various types of hidden features are included within the area of the security elements. They are not visible under normal lighting but it is possible to easily reveal the hidden information under specially-defined geometry and/or type of illumination.

In this paper, theory and application of a novel type of hidden diffractive security element are presented. It combines standard visual properties of synthetic holograms with waveguide effects. The hidden information is recorded using a special grating, which is not visible under normal observation geometry. The encoded image can be reconstructed only when the proper guided mode appears in a substrate. During the reconstruction, light is coupled into a waveguide (holographic foil) using a grating coupler and after traveling through the substrate in a chosen direction it is selectively out-coupled within the areas containing the hidden information. Several elements with different properties have been designed, fabricated and compared with theory. Principles of diffraction and waveguide effects, realization technology and properties of the realized test samples are presented.

The advantage of the combination of diffractive and waveguide effects is that the resulting hidden effect is sophisticated but easily readable with no additional tools.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 January 2015
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9442, Optics and Measurement Conference 2014, 944214 (7 January 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2175918
Show Author Affiliations
Martin Possolt, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
Institute of Plasma Physics of the ASCR, v.v.i. (Czech Republic)
Marek Škereň, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)
Jakub Svoboda, Czech Technical Univ. in Prague (Czech Republic)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9442:
Optics and Measurement Conference 2014
Jana Kovačičinová; Tomáš Vít, Editor(s)

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