A University of South Dakota professor has helped create an invisible version of the Quick Response (QR) code.
Stanley May, professor of chemistry at USD, along with Jon Kellar and William Cross, professors of materials and metallurgical engineering at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in Rapid City, S.D., found a way to incorporate tiny nanoparticles into inks to print the QR codes, making them visible only when viewed by infrared laser light.
QR codes are usually printed as blocks of black and white and can be scanned by smartphones. While similar to a barcode, a QR code can hold more information than a traditional barcode.
The invisible QR code could help fight counterfeiting and forgery, and help secure documents like passports and other identification and security cards.
In a press release, May said the technology can be customized as needed to adapt to a broad range of specific applications.
The collaborative research was recently published in the British Academic Journal of Nanotechnology and has since appeared on BBC News, NBCNews.com, Physics.org and Reuters Online.