Dual emissive water-based flexo ink from tapioca-derived carbon dots for anti-counterfeiting applications

Namratha Ullal, Prinston Melroy Lewis, Dhanya Sunil, Suresh D. Kulkarni, Anand P.J., Udaya Bhat K.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Counterfeiting of high-value items is a challenging menace worldwide, and luminescent nanoparticles-based security inks have promising applications while addressing this global issue. As Carbon dots (CDs) show attractive functional properties, hydrophilic CDs were prepared through hydrothermal approach from tapioca starch as an eco-friendly precursor. CDs with bluish-green fluorescence emission under 365 nm UV light illumination was obtained using column chromatography technique. TCSPC studies indicated the presence of blue and green emitters with average lifetimes of 1.12 and 1.61 ns, respectively. The graphitic and polycrystalline nature of CDs (~9 nm) with negatively charged surface groups was confirmed through ATR-IR, XPS, RS, XRD, SAED, DLS and TEM. An eco-friendly water-based security ink for flexography printing was formulated, and the influence of the ink components on the fluorescence of CDs were studied. The prints on UV dull paper displayed good abrasion resistance, densitometry and colorimetric values. The letters written using the invisible ink exhibited good security features including excellent covertness under daylight, and a bluish-green emission under 365 nm UV light. Moreover, a yellow emission was perceived using a yellow-orange pass filter under the same light source. The surface morphology and electrical property investigations suggested the use of flexo-ink in flexible printed electronics for anti-counterfeiting. These results propose that Tapioca-derived CDs can enable unique optical features in its eco-friendly ink formulation to demonstrate promising security applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107233
JournalProgress in Organic Coatings
Publication statusPublished - 12-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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