Nano Manufacturing: Banknotes From Butterflies

By Amelia Hennighausen - 2013-09-23T13:23:07Z

Photograph by Grant Harder for

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Nanotechnology is increasingly used in our everyday lives, from health and food safety to maximizing technological capabilities.

Nanotech Security utilizes the 4D Labs Nanofabrication Facility at Simon Fraser University. Engineers originate nanostructures on highly polished, pure quartz wafers inside the clean room. This is a yellow-light-lit laboratory space that contains high-tech equipment, including the electron beam lithography system that enables patterning of structures on the nanoscale.  

Here, an NTS nanofabrication engineer readies a KolourOptik wafer for mastering. This process has broader uses than just verifying currency; it can authenticate legal documents, stock certificates, visas and passports.