Tunable solid-state fluorescent materials are ideal for applications in security printing technologies. A document possesses a high level of security if its encrypted information can be authenticated without being decoded, while also being resistant to counterfeiting. Herein, we describe a heterorotaxane with tunable solid-state fluorescent emissions enabled through reversible manipulation of its aggregation by supramolecular encapsulation. The dynamic nature of this fluorescent material is based on a complex set of equilibria, whose fluorescence output depends non-linearly on the chemical inputs and the composition of the paper. By applying this system in fluorescent security inks, the information encoded in polychromic images can be protected in such a way that it is close to impossible to reverse engineer, as well as being easy to verify. This system constitutes a unique application of responsive complex equilibria in the form of a cryptographic algorithm that protects valuable information printed using tunable solid-state fluorescent materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)