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Ultra-thin embedded chips may eliminate counterfeit money altogether

Researchers have developed a method for embedding tiny radio frequency ID (RFID) chips onto a paper which may one day lead to eliminating counterfeiting altogether.

The method involves using lasers to transfer and assemble chips onto paper.  Laser Enabled Advanced Packaging (LEAP), as it’s being called, will allow governments and banking institutions to seamlessly integrate verification chips into money and banknotes without having to deal with the “bulkiness” of alternative chip integration methods.

First, plasma etcher is used to thin down the chips, and then laser beams are used to transfer the ultra-thin chips and embedded antennas onto the note.  According to project head, Professor Val Marinov, LEAP is twice as fast as the current methods, and is also cheaper because less material is used to achieve the same purpose.

“About then ten years ago the Bank of Japan and the European bank signaled their intention to develop such technology but they aren’t there yet,” he said.  “I believe our scheme is the first to demonstrate a functional RFID tag embedded in paper.”

Currently, Marinov and his team are looking for commercial partners to help take the technology “out of the lab” and placed into the industry.

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