Invisible transistors protect bills from counterfeiting

Counterfeiting paper money – which used to only require a color printer and some special paper – has become harder and harder to execute. 

In the past, anti-counterfeiting measures have included holograms, never-drying ink, textured printing, un-copyable colors, watermarks, woven-in fibers, all of which have been steadily duplicated by counterfeiters.

However, a next-gen security feature could help potentially shut counterfeiters down for an extended period of time.

The new technology is designed to cover paper money in thin-film transistors made out of gold, aluminum oxide, and organic molecules through a patterned mask.

Once printed, each note has around 100 invisible and organic transistors on each side, capable of turning on and off with 3 volts of power. 

That means if the money is passed over a special sensor within a bus station of bank, it can be determined whether the note is real or fake based on the amount of voltage it generates.

Although this may seem like a lot of work to determine fakes, the counterfeiting business is still a major hurdle for law enforcement, with $1 of fake money found within every $12,500.

And with trillions of dollars in circulation, you can imagine the amount of actual fakes floating around.

(Via Fast Company)