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  • A Slippery Molecular Assembly Allows Water as a Self-ErasableSecurity Marker

A Slippery Molecular Assembly Allows Water as a Self-ErasableSecurity Marker

R. Thirumalai, R. D. Mukhopadhyay, V. K. Praveen, A. Ajayaghosh

Protection of currency and valuable documents from counterfeit continues to be a challenge. While there are many embedded security features available for document safety, they are not immune to forgery. Fluorescence is a sensitive property, which responds to external stimuli such as solvent polarity, temperature or mechanical stress, however practical use in security applications is hampered due to several reasons. Therefore, a simple and specific stimuli responsive security feature that is difficult to duplicate is of great demand. Herein we report the design of a fluorescent molecular assembly on which water behaves as a self-erasable security marker for checking the authenticity of documents at point of care. The underlying principle involves the disciplined self-assembly of a tailor- made fluorescent molecule, which initially form a weak blue fluorescence (λem = 425 nm, Φf = 0.13) and changes to cyan emission (λem = 488 nm, Φf = 0.18) in contact with water due to a reversible molecular slipping motion. This simple chemical tool, based on the principles of molecular self-assemblyand fluorescence modulation, allows creation of security labels and optically masked barcodes for multiple documents authentication.

Sci. Rep.2015, 5, 09842.