Picosun patents counterfeiting use for ALD coating tech

Finland’s Picosun Oy has been awarded a US patent on a coating technology that it says could become a potent tool in the anti-counterfeit armamentarium.

The company is a pioneer of a coating technique known as atomic layer deposition (ALD) that was invented by Finnish scientist Dr Tuomo Suntola, a board member and one of the owners of Picosun, back in the 1970s. ALD involves depositing alternating monolayers of two or more elements such as metal oxides onto surface, forming a crystal structure, and allows the thickness of the resulting film to be precisely controlled.

It’s already widely used in applications like producing transistors in silicon chips, manufacturing LEDs, and protective layers on high-value goods like luxury watches, but until recently hadn’t been explored extensively for its anti-counterfeit potential.

The new patent (No. 10,600,058) covers the use of ALD to introduce an identifiable signature or code on the film coating a product, such as an integrated circuit, using layers of different predetermined thicknesses that can be detected using a suitable reader device.

The abstract of the patent appears below:

Anti-counterfeit signature

Abstract: A method for applying an anti-counterfeit signature on a product, and an anti-counterfeit signature. The method includes selecting a substrate and a type of signature and forming a signature of the selected type on the substrate with atomic layer deposition, ALD, wherein forming the signature includes applying at least one layer having a predetermined property configured to be detected with an analysis method on the substrate by atomic layer deposition, ALD.

US Patent No. 10,600,058

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