When I read of a microtaggant labelled with a QR Code I have to admit that I did not know what a ‘microtaggant’ was. I discovered that it is a microscopic identification particle used to trace or to prevent counterfeiting. For example multi-coloured, multi-layered microscopic particles only half the diameter of a human hair (80 microns) may be used for tracking and tracing explosives. Microtaggant is also a registered trademark that belongs to Microtrace LCC a company specializing in anti-counterfeit microtaggant technologies.
Apparently getting a QR Code onto a microtaggant is a breakthrough because it allows much more information to be carried on the microscopic particle itself (image below). Although small it is not the smallest QR Code in the world, the smallest so far was produced at Trinity College, Dublin earlier this year.
Korean University professors W. Park and S. Kwon together with co-workers have described the new process in a scientific paper, Lithographically Encoded Polymer Microtaggant Using High-Capacity and Error-Correctable QR Code for Anti-Counterfeiting of Drugs in the journal Advanced Materials Volume 24, Issue 44, page 5924, November 20, 2012. The paper is nicely featured on the journal’s cover (image below).