Optical Interference Special Effect Pigments: From Banknote Security to Nail Polish


Date Thursday March 29th 2007
Time 5:00 PM
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

Iridescent Optical Variable Image Devices (IOVIDs) have many important anti-counterfeiting applications for the security and authentication markets.

These devices have been used for the last 20 years to protect key industries that suffer from major counterfeiting problems. Examples of these industries are currency, value documents, pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, health and beauty aids and consumer packaged goods.

Anti-counterfeiting devices must prevent replication by newer electronic scanning, copying, printing or photographic techniques. IOVIDs are ideally suited for anti-counterfeiting because their strong iridescent appearance makes them easy to recognize by an average person when checking the validity of a document. Traditionally, iridescent optical interference devices have been produced using thin film interference or diffractive technology.

Combinations of technologies, including thin film interference, diffractive, and even magnetic pigments, offer potentially more robust anti-counterfeiting devices.

For decorative product enhancement, special effect pigment flakes have been used to create striking color-shifting effects when incorporated into a wide range of paint, molding or coating processes for the automobile, plastic, cosmetic and textile industries.


Dr. Alberto Argoitia received his Ph.D. degree in 1987 in Ceramic Materials from the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Ceramique Industrielle de Limoges, France. After his Ph.D., he worked as a professor of Material Sciences, as a Research Scientist for the Oil Industry and Research Associate at Case Western Reserve University. In 1997, he was hired by Optical Coating Laboratory Inc. to develop coatings for different optical applications. For the last 7 years he has worked for Flex Products Inc. (now part of JDSU). He is currently manager of product development for the Science and Technology group.

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