Pressure-Responsive Polymer Memorizes the Shape of 3-D Objects, Changes Color When Compressed
This pressure-responsive polymer collapses when a small force is applied to it and quickly returns to its original shape when no longer compressed. The technology is useful for identity authentication systems. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) alone maintains the fingerprints of more than 100 million American citizens and new entries are added every day. Stored fingerprint images and fingerprint readers allow law enforcement officers and others to track individuals' security clearances and criminal activity. Proper fingerprint image acquisition is critical for later authentication. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a polymer that memorizes the shape of 3-dimensional objects, such as fingers' friction ridges (unique raised patterns of the epidermis). While in its collapsed state, the polymer is transparent. It changes color in response to pressure, providing visual proof that a high-quality fingerprint has been acquired. The technology can be adapted for other optical applications, such as anti-glare and anti-counterfeiting coatings.
ApplicationA pressure-responsive polymer for improved fingerprint acquisition and recognition, which changes color when compressed
- Memorizes the shape of any 3-D object, broadening the number of potential applications and enhancing versatility
- Changes color when compressed, providing visual confirmation that the polymer is working
- Designed to be durable, ensuring the final iridescent fingerprint is retained for years
- Highly scalable, lowering the cost of large-scale production