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University of South Dakota Professor Develops Invisible QR Code


Professor Stanley May, of the University of Dakota, has developed a quick response code that is visible only under infrared light. Professor May created this invisible QR code alongside Jon Kellar and their other colleagues at the School of Mines and Technology.

This invisible code aims to help prevent security counterfeiting as well as forgery. May and his team are hoping that adding the invisible QR codes to legal or official documents will help authorities to easily recognize counterfeits and forgeries. Moreover, they are hoping that this new technology will make it more difficult for forgers, counterfeiters and other criminals to continue reproducing fakes.

It is over the last few years that May had developed a clear ink solvent that’s integrated with nanoparticle technology. He had been working with Kellar and with William Cross in making the invisible ink printable. The team has then been able to print the QR codes through the use of this special ink as well as of a special printer.

The printing process needs an aerosol lab printer. It is capable of creating basic letters and shapes on paper and on certain objects. The research team then took it further by making a way to print QR codes that are not visible to the naked eye. The whole idea was actually first conceptualized and tested by Jeevan Meruga, who is a graduate student who worked with Kellar.

When the codes are printed in the invisible solution, they can be added to any surface and remain completely undetectable until it is displayed under infrared light. This could make it challenging for criminals to fraudulently copy or replicate any real currency or official documents. These invisible QR codes can also be added to any form of identification, such as passports and driver’s licenses, in order to make them impossibly difficult to forge.

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