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Researchers Develop Anti-Counterfeiting Nanofiber

Researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, have created a nanoscale fiber that can be incorporated into a textile or a paper document to verify its authenticity. The alien nanofiber could be used by branded textile manufacturers to protect against piracy by unlicensed competitors. Using an electrospinning process, Juan Hinestroza, Ph.D., assistant professor of textile engineering, chemistry and science, NCSU; and Carlos Rinaldi, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemical engineering, University of Puerto Rico, have developed the nanofiber, which has a diameter of approximately 150 nanometers. The fiber contains smaller nanoparticles with a magnetic, electrical or optical signature that can be identified by a scanning device.

"These fibers can be easily incorporated [using] existing textile manufacturing facilities," Hinestroza said. Hinestroza and Rinaldi have been assisted in their work by graduate student Carola Barrera and high school student Aldo Briano. The research is supported by a National Science Foundation Nanoscale Exploratory Research grant and by the NC State Nanotechnology Steering Committee.

October 2005