Radiative lifetime-encoded unicolour security tags using perovskite nanocrystals

Sergii Yakunin*, Jana Chaaban, Bogdan M. Benin, Ihor Cherniukh, Caterina Bernasconi, Annelies Landuyt, Yevhen Shynkarenko, Sami Bolat, Christoph Hofer, Yaroslav E. Romanyuk, Stefano Cattaneo, Sergey I. Pokutnyi, Richard D. Schaller, Maryna I. Bodnarchuk*, Dimos Poulikakos*, Maksym V. Kovalenko*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Traditional fluorescence-based tags, used for anticounterfeiting, rely on primitive pattern matching and visual identification; additional covert security features such as fluorescent lifetime or pattern masking are advantageous if fraud is to be deterred. Herein, we present an electrohydrodynamically printed unicolour multi-fluorescent-lifetime security tag system composed of lifetime-tunable lead-halide perovskite nanocrystals that can be deciphered with both existing time-correlated single-photon counting fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy and a novel time-of-flight prototype. We find that unicolour or matching emission wavelength materials can be prepared through cation-engineering with the partial substitution of formamidinium for ethylenediammonium to generate “hollow” formamidinium lead bromide perovskite nanocrystals; these materials can be successfully printed into fluorescence-lifetime-encoded-quick-read tags that are protected from conventional readers. Furthermore, we also demonstrate that a portable, cost-effective time-of-flight fluorescence-lifetime imaging prototype can also decipher these codes. A single comprehensive approach combining these innovations may be eventually deployed to protect both producers and consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number981
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Radiative lifetime-encoded unicolour security tags using perovskite nanocrystals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this