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The Need for Developing of Atomic Fingerprints

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Counterfeiting today has become a huge problem. The food we eat to the apperal we wear, a wide range of products can be imitated. Almost every country on the map has been a victim of this epidemic. Every one of us might have some or the other time purchased products which we later recognized to be the imitation of the original ones. Reports say that globally, about half a trillion economy is lost annually, effecting economies of countries and various businesses. Even though the governments of various countries have taken a variety of precautions and launched various campaigns, people are not able to distinguish between the original and the counterfeits .counterfeiting countinues to exist as a disease without cure for decades. There has always been a quest for a technology to keep these phony products at bay, in a way, which could be readily adopted, economical and which would give the counterfeiters a really hard time. This breakthrough has been achieved by a group of scientists from the lanchester university, United Kingdom. The technology brought up by these scientists to distinguish between the phony and genuine products is called atomic fingerprinting.

The basic principle behind atomic fingerprinting is derived from the postulates of bhor’s atomic model of an atom. It states that electrons revolve around the nucleus in specific circular paths, these circular orbits have certain amount of fixed energy. As long as the electrons exit to revolve in their discrete orbits they neither emit not absorb energy. The change in energy occurs when electrons jump from one energy level to the other. When electrons absorb energy or jumps from lower energy level to higher energy level. When electrons jump from higher energy levels to lower energy level, the electrons radiate energy in the form of electromagnetic waves. Thus every element has a unique energy level. These unique set of lines are called as atomic fingerprinting. These energy levels are going to help us distinguish between genuine and counterfeit products.

Though atomic fingerprinting has been in use for many decades, it was used to find out a new element or to find the composition of gases found on the sun or other stars. Now, scientists have deviced a method through which this technology could be used to fight counterfeiters.

Scientists found that by intentionally adding flaws to layer of molecular structure, they could make a unique pattern, which is almost impossible for any one to reproduce. For example, a monolayer flake of graphenedioxide produced by exfoliating graphitediode by sonication process can be taken and an oxygen atom is added or a carbon atom is removed from the flake at certain positions such that it produces a unique pattern .this layer of pattern is then printed on a hologram with the help of an inkjet printer. Each hologram containing a unique pattern of flaws is sticked on each individual product.

All we have to do is, take a photo of the hologram, by flashing on it, with the energy obtained from the flash of the camera the hologram produces color characteristics. This unique pattern of colour characteristic is photographed and analyzed by an app in the smartphone, which authenticates the product.

The research team is now working with a company that prints over 10 billion holograms a year and is going to first introduce this technology in automobile industry by first quarter of 2018 and latter into the pharmaceutical industry where counterfeiting problem has become even direr. Statistics show that more than 30 percent of the medicines in the market contain inappropriate amount of active or inactive ingredients which may cost our lives. Further scientists are betting that atomic fingerprinting could be developed on each pill so that the Consumer could tell if the medicine he or she is taking is going to cure them or not. Once atomic fingerprinting is adopted by everyone, counterfeiting will become a thing of past.

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