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Terahertz Tags to Spot Product Tampering

Terahertz Tags to Spot Product Tampering

MIT scientists have devised cutting-edge anti-counterfeiting tags leveraging terahertz waves, capable of remotely detecting tampering or removal attempts from product packaging. This is made possible through a novel tamper-proof adhesive design, integrating micro-particles. Unlike lower radio frequencies, terahertz radiation is highly absorbed by atmospheric gases, limiting its terrestrial communication range. However, it's emitted naturally by objects with temperatures above 2 kelvins.

Existing methods, such as RFID tags, have limitations due to susceptibility to duplication and cost issues. In contrast, MIT's terahertz tags offer higher data transmission rates over longer distances, enabling widespread remote scanning.

The key innovation lies in the tamper-proof glue, which incorporates microscopic conducting metal pieces. Any tampering disturbs the distribution of these particles, altering the terahertz wave reflections and serving as evidence of tampering.

This advancement enhances security by providing remote tamper detection capabilities lacking in existing anti-counterfeit labels.

Moreover, these tags are cost-effective and scalable, thanks to their use of inexpensive materials and streamlined fabrication processes. They can be mass-produced rapidly, promising widespread adoption across various industries vulnerable to counterfeiting.

By enabling near real-time invisible tracking, these terahertz ID stickers mitigate grey market risks and enhance supply chain transparency.

Terahertz waves occupy the electromagnetic spectrum between microwave and infrared regions. Artificial sources of terahertz radiation include gyrotrons, backward wave oscillators, organic gas far-infrared lasers, Schottky diode multipliers, among others.

In 2013, researchers developed a method to create graphene antennas, shaping them into strips for emitting radio waves in the terahertz frequency range.

Terahertz Tags to Spot Product Tampering