Encoding molecular information in plasmonic nanostructures for anti-counterfeiting applications
We present the next generation covert plasmonic security labels based on Ag nanowire structures and their polarization dependent surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) imaging. The security labels consist of Ag nanowires fabricated by two-photon lithography and thermal evaporation, where molecular probes of choice are deposited. Simulation and experimental results show that the SERS signals from the embedded molecules depend significantly on the polarization of the incident field. The covert molecular information cannot be revealed directly from the physical features, but can only be read-out selectively by polarization-dependent SERS imaging. Our plasmonic security labels exhibit very narrow spectral fingerprint vibration, which is more specific than broadband colorimetry-based systems. The polarization-dependent SERS intensity, molecular fingerprint of SERS spectra, and versatile geometrical design by two-photon lithography have made our plasmonic Ag nanowire structures an ideal candidate as advanced security solutions for anti-counterfeiting application.