WO2007051529A1 - Transparent security element and method for its production - Google Patents

Transparent security element and method for its production Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2007051529A1
WO2007051529A1 PCT/EP2006/010087 EP2006010087W WO2007051529A1 WO 2007051529 A1 WO2007051529 A1 WO 2007051529A1 EP 2006010087 W EP2006010087 W EP 2006010087W WO 2007051529 A1 WO2007051529 A1 WO 2007051529A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
security element
layer
characterized
layers
see
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2006/010087
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Winfried HOFFMÜLLER
Theodor Burchard
Thorsten Pillo
Manfred Heim
Original Assignee
Giesecke & Devrient Gmbh
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to DE102005052928.3 priority Critical
Priority to DE102005052928A priority patent/DE102005052928A1/en
Application filed by Giesecke & Devrient Gmbh filed Critical Giesecke & Devrient Gmbh
Publication of WO2007051529A1 publication Critical patent/WO2007051529A1/en

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B42BOOKBINDING; ALBUMS; FILES; SPECIAL PRINTED MATTER
    • B42DBOOKS; BOOK COVERS; LOOSE LEAVES; PRINTED MATTER CHARACTERISED BY IDENTIFICATION OR SECURITY FEATURES; PRINTED MATTER OF SPECIAL FORMAT OR STYLE NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; DEVICES FOR USE THEREWITH AND NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; MOVABLE-STRIP WRITING OR READING APPARATUS
    • B42D25/00Information-bearing cards or sheet-like structures characterised by identification or security features; Manufacture thereof
    • B42D25/30Identification or security features, e.g. for preventing forgery
    • B42D25/36Identification or security features, e.g. for preventing forgery comprising special materials
    • B42D25/378Special inks
    • B42D25/391Special inks absorbing or reflecting polarised light
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B42BOOKBINDING; ALBUMS; FILES; SPECIAL PRINTED MATTER
    • B42DBOOKS; BOOK COVERS; LOOSE LEAVES; PRINTED MATTER CHARACTERISED BY IDENTIFICATION OR SECURITY FEATURES; PRINTED MATTER OF SPECIAL FORMAT OR STYLE NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; DEVICES FOR USE THEREWITH AND NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; MOVABLE-STRIP WRITING OR READING APPARATUS
    • B42D25/00Information-bearing cards or sheet-like structures characterised by identification or security features; Manufacture thereof
    • B42D25/20Information-bearing cards or sheet-like structures characterised by identification or security features; Manufacture thereof characterised by a particular use or purpose
    • B42D25/29Securities; Bank notes
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B42BOOKBINDING; ALBUMS; FILES; SPECIAL PRINTED MATTER
    • B42DBOOKS; BOOK COVERS; LOOSE LEAVES; PRINTED MATTER CHARACTERISED BY IDENTIFICATION OR SECURITY FEATURES; PRINTED MATTER OF SPECIAL FORMAT OR STYLE NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; DEVICES FOR USE THEREWITH AND NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; MOVABLE-STRIP WRITING OR READING APPARATUS
    • B42D25/00Information-bearing cards or sheet-like structures characterised by identification or security features; Manufacture thereof
    • B42D25/30Identification or security features, e.g. for preventing forgery
    • B42D25/36Identification or security features, e.g. for preventing forgery comprising special materials
    • B42D25/364Liquid crystals
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B42BOOKBINDING; ALBUMS; FILES; SPECIAL PRINTED MATTER
    • B42DBOOKS; BOOK COVERS; LOOSE LEAVES; PRINTED MATTER CHARACTERISED BY IDENTIFICATION OR SECURITY FEATURES; PRINTED MATTER OF SPECIAL FORMAT OR STYLE NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; DEVICES FOR USE THEREWITH AND NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; MOVABLE-STRIP WRITING OR READING APPARATUS
    • B42D2033/00Structure or construction of identity, credit, cheque or like information-bearing cards
    • B42D2033/04Transparent material
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B42BOOKBINDING; ALBUMS; FILES; SPECIAL PRINTED MATTER
    • B42DBOOKS; BOOK COVERS; LOOSE LEAVES; PRINTED MATTER CHARACTERISED BY IDENTIFICATION OR SECURITY FEATURES; PRINTED MATTER OF SPECIAL FORMAT OR STYLE NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; DEVICES FOR USE THEREWITH AND NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; MOVABLE-STRIP WRITING OR READING APPARATUS
    • B42D2033/00Structure or construction of identity, credit, cheque or like information-bearing cards
    • B42D2033/26Liquid-crystal material

Abstract

The invention relates to a double-sided transparent security element (20) for protection of valuable objects having motifs in the form of patterns, characters or codings introduced into the security element, comprising a first optically active layer (24) composed of a cholesteric liquid-crystal material, which selectively reflects light with a predetermined circular polarization in a predetermined wavelength range, and a second (22) and third (26) optically active layer, which are arranged on both sides of the first optically active layer (24) and each form a phase-shifting layer for light from the predetermined wavelength range. The second and third optically active layers (22, 26) in this case contain motifs which are independent of one another, in order to verify the security element (20) from opposite sides.

Description

 See-through security element and method for its manufacture

The invention relates to a double-sided see-through security element for the protection of valuables, with introduced into the security element motifs in the form of patterns, characters or codes. The invention further relates to a method for producing such a security element as well as a valuable object equipped with such a security element.

Review windows have long been known for banknotes in the field of polymer notes. Providing a banknote with a see-through window on its own, however, does not yet provide additional counterfeit security for the note. For this reason, various security features have been proposed for transparent windows and in some cases have also been converted into banknotes.

Thus, document AU 488 652 discloses security documents in which security features can be checked by means of transmitted light inspection. Between plastic sheets an optically variable Sicherheitssele- element is arranged, which can be viewed through a transparent see-through window in the overlying cover sheet.

As security elements often optically variable elements are used, which give the viewer a different image impression, for example a different color impression, from different viewing angles. From the document EP 0435 029 A2, such a security element with a plastic-like layer of a liquid crystal polymer is known, which exhibits a pronounced color change play at room temperature. The optically variable effects of the liquid crystal polymers can be combined with a print image of black color, which can produce patterns that appear black in transmitted light. In the On the other hand, only the areas provided with the printed image show a color change.

Other valuables, such as branded goods, documents of value, such as certificates, vouchers, checks, or other forgery-prone papers, such as passports and other identity documents, are often provided with security elements for protection, which allow a verification of the authenticity of the object of value and at the same time as protection to serve unauthorized reproduction.

Based on this, the present invention seeks to provide a security element of the type mentioned above with high security against counterfeiting, which avoids the disadvantages of the prior art.

This object is achieved by the security element and the manufacturing method having the features of the independent claims. Further developments of the invention are the subject of the dependent claims.

According to the invention contains a generic see-through security element

a first optically active layer of a cholesteric liquid crystalline material which selectively reflects light with a predetermined circular polarization in a predetermined wavelength range, and

a second and third optically active layer disposed on either side of the first optically active layer, and for light from the each predetermined wavelength range form a phase-shifting layer.

The second and third optically active layers contain mutually independent motifs for verification of the security element from opposite sides. Independent from one another means that there are two separate motifs, which can each be checked from opposite sides of the security element, and which need not be related to each other.

Phase shifting layers are optically active layers which act on the phase of a transmitted light wave. The partial beams of an incident polarized light wave receive a path difference and thus a phase difference due to different refractive indices. If the phase difference of the two partial beams is just half or quarter wavelengths, λ / 2 or λ / 4 layers are obtained. However, the phase shifting layers of the present invention are not limited to these values, but can produce any phase difference. In the context of the invention, one or both of the phase-shifting layers is preferably formed from nematic liquid-crystalline material.

As explained in detail below, the security element can be viewed for verification, for example with a linear polarizer or a circular polarizer, or illuminated with correspondingly polarized light. While looking at the security element in the

Transmitted light typically no one of the subjects of the phase-shifting layers is recognizable, the motifs are made clearly visible by means of a corresponding polarizing filter. It is understood that the presence of the motifs can also be checked by machine. The following written effects occur particularly clearly against a dark background.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, one or both of the phase-shifting layers forms a λ / 4-layer for light from the predetermined wavelength range at least in partial regions. As explained further below, these embodiments are particularly designed for the verification by means of linear polarizers.

In other, likewise preferred embodiments of the invention, one or both of the phase-shifting layers for light from the predetermined wavelength range forms a λ / 2-layer at least in partial regions. This embodiment is particularly aligned to the verification by means of circular polarizers.

In all embodiments, the motifs may be advantageously formed by partially different orientation of one or both of the phase-shifting layers. The motivating effect is based on a different interaction of the incidental polarized light with the phase-shifting layers, depending on the orientation. For example, incident linearly polarized light may be converted to right or left polarized light depending on the layer orientation, as explained in more detail below. It is understood that other interactions between the phase shifting layers and the polarization of the incident light can be exploited.

For aligning the phase-shifting layers one or more photo-alignment layers are expediently provided. Alignment layers (alignment layers) of linear photopolymers exposed by exposure can be patterned with polarized light, are known. In an alignment layer, for example, two alignment directions with photo-resolution can be predetermined by exposing the alignment layer in a first step through a mask with linearly polarized UV radiation. In a second step, the mask is removed and the previously unexposed areas are exposed with 90 ° rotated linearly polarized UV radiation. If nematic liquid crystals are applied to such an alignment layer, then they respectively orient themselves at the local orientation of the alignment layer.

Alternatively, structured, in particular embossed, alignment layers, which are subdivided into regions with different alignment directions, can also be provided in another way for aligning the phase-shifting layers. In an expedient embodiment, the embossed alignment layer has a diffractive structure. Be on such

Alignment layer applied nematic liquid crystals, so they are oriented, as in the above-described photoalignment, each at the local orientation of the alignment layer.

The motifs can also be formed by a region-wise different thickness of one or both of the phase-shifting layers. For example, the degree of phase rotation may be proportional to the layer thickness, so that the influence of the polarized light on the layer thickness can be adjusted specifically.

One or both of the phase-shifting layers can also be present only in regions in the form of a motif. This design presents itself as an extreme case of the aforementioned embodiment, when the recessed Regions of the phase-shifting layers are considered as layers with a layer thickness of zero.

In particular, if one or both of the phase-shifting layers are only partially present, they are advantageously arranged immediately above or below a full-surface transfer assist layer which serves to produce the transfer of the partial layer to a target substrate. The transfer assist layer expediently has greater adhesion to the partial layer than to a substrate to be detached, so that the latter can be removed after transfer to the target substrate without damaging the phase-shifting layer.

In this way, very complex layer structures can be created by repeatedly transferring individual layers or layer composites to one another, whereby optimum production conditions can be selected for each layer or layer composite by the separate production. Thus, according to the invention, it is also possible to combine layered composites which require mutually exclusive production conditions or interfering substrates, since these can be removed during or after the joining together of the partial layer composites.

As a transfer assist layer preferably a UV-curing lacquer layer is applied, in particular printed. The UV-curable lacquer layer expediently contains photoinitiators, it being necessary to search for a sufficiently high adhesion of the transfer assist layer to the layer to be transferred and sufficiently low adhesion to the substrate to be removed in order to select the optimal photoinitiator. In a further preferred embodiment, a layer of cholesteric liquid-crystalline material is applied, for example printed, as the transfer assist layer. In a particularly preferred embodiment, this function is taken over by the first optically active layer so that it simultaneously forms a transfer assist layer for one of the phase-shifting layers.

In expedient embodiments of the security elements according to the invention, one or more optically substantially isotropic adhesive layers and / or one or more optically substantially isotropic adhesion promoter layers are provided.

To further increase the security against counterfeiting, the security elements can also have negative information in the form of patterns, characters or codes which are formed by recesses in one or more of the optically active layers. Also, non-transparent regions may be provided in the form of patterns, characters, or codes formed by partially applying ink or magnetic ink on one or both sides of the first optically active layer.

In an advantageous variant of the invention, the optically active layers are arranged on both sides of a carrier film. Alternatively it can be provided that the optically active layers are arranged on one side of a carrier film. The optically active layers can also be arranged between two carrier films in order to achieve a particularly high protection of the optically effective layer sequence.

The carrier foil or the carrier foils are preferably optically substantially isotropic for light from the predetermined wavelength range. You can For example, consist of cycloolefin copolymers or be formed by a combination of two or more differently oriented plastic films.

Alternatively, the carrier film (s) for light from the predetermined wavelength range have a defined optical anisotropy with a path difference constant over the extent of the security element. In particular, carrier films with a path difference of n * λ, with n from the natural numbers, and especially with a path difference of l * λ are preferred since the polarization of light when passing through such a film, as in an optically isotropic film substantially remains unchanged.

At least one of the phase-shifting layers can advantageously be printed on the carrier film in the form of a motif.

The invention further includes a method for producing a double-sided see-through security element having motifs in the form of patterns, characters or codes. In the method of the present invention, there is provided a first optically active layer of a cholesteric liquid crystalline material which selectively reflects light having a predetermined circular polarization in a predetermined wavelength range, and becomes second and third optically active layers respectively for light from the predetermined wavelength range Form phase shift layer, arranged on both sides of the first optically active layer. The second and third optically active layers are provided with mutually independent motifs for verifying the security element from opposite sides. One or both of the phase-shifting layers are advantageously formed of nematic liquid-crystalline material. In particular, the liquid-crystalline layers are printed by gravure printing, screen printing, flexographic printing, knife coating or curtain coating.

One or more of the optically active layers are preferably produced on a release film (release film), which is removed after combining the optically active layers of the resulting layer composite. Alternatively or additionally, one or more of the optically active layers is produced on an optically substantially isotropic carrier film which remains in the resulting layer composite after combining the optically active layers. As mentioned above, instead of an optically isotropic carrier film, a carrier film having a defined optical anisotropy and a path difference constant over the extent of the security element can also be used.

At least one of the phase-shifting layers is advantageously printed on a release film, in particular partially in the form of a motif.

The invention also includes a valuable article, such as a branded article, a value document or the like, which is equipped with a double-sided see-through security element of the type described. The see-through security element is expediently arranged in or above a window area or a continuous opening of the object of value. The valuable item may be, for example, a security paper, a value document or a product package. The invention further includes a method for checking the authenticity of a see-through security element or article of value of the type described above, in which the see-through security element is checked for the presence of predetermined motifs by means of a linear polarizer or a circular polarizer from one or both sides, and the authenticity of the security element is based on the examination result is assessed.

In an advantageous variant of the invention, the linear polarizer or circular polarizer is provided in a window area or a continuous opening of the object of value. The object of value is expediently flexible, so that the see-through security element and the linear or circular polarizer can be laid one on top of the other by bending or folding the object of value for self-authentication.

Further embodiments and advantages of the invention are explained below with reference to the figures. For better clarity, a scale and proportioned representation is omitted in the figures.

Show it:

Fig. 1 is a schematic representation of a banknote with a

See-through area over which a security element according to the invention is arranged,

2 shows schematically the basic layer structure of a security element according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention for explaining its basic mode of operation, 3 shows the production of a double-sided see-through security element according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention, wherein (a) shows a first and second layer composite before laminating and (b) the finished security element with removed release film,

4 is a see-through security element according to another embodiment of the invention, in which the optically active layers are protected on both sides by films,

5 shows the production of a double-sided see-through security element according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention, wherein (a) shows a first and second layer composite prior to laminating and (b) the finished security element,

6 schematically shows the basic layer structure of a security element according to the invention, in which the motifs are produced by printing technology,

7 shows the production of a double-sided see-through security element according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention, wherein (a) shows the finished security element and (b) the layers or layer composites prepared separately before laminating,

8 is a see-through security element according to a further embodiment of the invention, 9 shows the production of a security element constructed on one side of a carrier foil according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention, wherein (a) the separately produced layers or laminations prior to laminating, and (b) the finished security element, FIG.

10 in (a) the production and in (b) the finished security element for a modification of the embodiment of Fig. 9,

FIG. 11 shows a through-security element constructed between two isotropic carrier foils according to a further exemplary embodiment of the invention, FIG.

12 shows a structure of a see-through security element according to the invention, which is particularly suitable for slightly anisotropic carrier films, and

13 shows the production of a see-through security element according to yet another exemplary embodiment of the invention.

The invention will be explained below using the example of a banknote. Fig. 1 shows a schematic table representation of a banknote 10, which contains a see-through area 12 in a portion of the note. The see-through area 12 can be, for example, a continuous opening or a transparent partial area of the banknote 10. In or above this see-through area 12, a security element 14 according to the invention is arranged, the security features of which can be tested from both sides of the banknote 10. The basic mode of operation of security elements according to the invention will now be explained on the basis of the basic layer structure of FIG. 2, which merely shows the layers which are absolutely necessary in the context of the invention.

The minimum security element 20 of FIG. 2 contains as a first optically active layer a layer 24 of cholesteric liquid crystalline material. The cholesteric layer 24 selectively reflects light of a predetermined circular polarization in a predetermined wavelength range, depending on the twisting device used. For further explanation, it is assumed that the cholesteric layer 24 reflects right circularly polarized light. Light opposite polarization direction, in the embodiment, therefore, left-circularly polarized light, is passed by the cholesteric layer 24, however, without substantial absorption.

Furthermore, a second optically active layer 22 and a third optically active layer 26, which in the exemplary embodiment in each case consist of nematic liquid-crystalline material, are arranged on opposite sides of the cholesteric layer 24. They each form a phase-shifting layer for light from the predetermined wavelength range, it being assumed for the explanation of FIG. 2 that the two phase-shifting layers 22 and 26 each form a λ / 4-layer due to their layer thickness. The side of the security element on which the first phase-shifting layer 22 is applied is referred to below as the front side, the side of the second phase-shifting layer 26 as the rear side.

The two phase-shifting layers 22 and 26 contain mutually independent motifs in the form of patterns, characters or codes, the serve the verification of the security element from opposite sides.

The motifs can be introduced into the security element 20 in different ways. For the general explanation of FIG. 2, it is assumed that the phase-shifting layers 22, 26 respectively have first and second regions 22-1, 22-2 and 26-1, 26-2, in which the nematic liquid crystal material surrounds 90 ° turned against each other is applied. In other embodiments, the first or second regions can also be formed, for example, by other orientations, by thickness variations of the phase-shifting layers or by recesses in the phase-shifting layers, as described below.

Returning to the illustration of Figure 2, the security element 20 (that is, the bill or value document containing the security element 20) is viewed for verification with a linear polarizing filter placed on the front or back. By rotation of the polarizing filter, the polarization direction of the incident light can be set arbitrarily. The effects described below appear particularly clear against a dark background.

When viewing the security element 20 in transmitted light, none of the motifs of the layers 22, 26 can be seen, the security element appears only slightly tinted.

On the other hand, if the security element 20 is viewed in plan view with a linear polarization filter suitably placed on its front side, then the motif of the first phase-shifting layer 22 emerges with a clear contrast. The isotropic light incident on the security element is linearly polarized by the overlying polarization filter. In the first phase-shifting layer 22, the linearly polarized light is then converted into right-circular or left-circular polarized light, depending on the local orientation of the nematic λ / 4 layer. For example, the polarization vector of the light may be such that the light in the regions 22-1 is converted to right circularly polarized light, in the regions 22-2 to left circularly polarized light.

Only one of the two types of light, in the embodiment, the right circularly polarized light of the areas 22-1, is reflected by the cholesteric layer 24, while the left circularly polarized radiation portion of the areas 22-2 is transmitted. The reflected right circularly polarized light is converted back into linearly polarized light by the nematic λ / 4 layer 22 when it is read again, with the resulting linear polarization just corresponding to the original polarization of the light, so that it is transmitted by the overlying polarization filter without significant absorption.

In the areas 22-1, the security element thus largely radiates the incident radiation back, they appear to the viewer in supervision bright. The areas 22-2, however, appear dark, since the incident there light passes through the security element without reflection. A possible interaction of the left-handed circularly polarized light transmitted by the cholesteric layer 24 with the second phase-shifting layer 26 does not occur because the transmitted light leaves the security element without further reflection and is absorbed by a dark background. Overall, the observer or a machine recording system can thus perceive the motif of the first phase-shifting layer 22 formed by the regions 22-1 and 22-2 with high contrast, while the motif of the opposite phase-shifting layer 26 does not appear when viewing the front side , Starting from the described position of the polarization filter, the motif appears with a rotation of the linear polarization filter by 90 ° as a negative image. It is understood that the correct position of the polarizing filter does not have to be known beforehand (and is often unknown), because the viewer easily finds a position with correct scene reproduction by turning the filter.

If the security element 20 (or the banknote containing the security element 20) is turned over and viewed in plan view with a polarization filter suitably placed on its rear side, the motif of the second phase-shifting layer 26 can be seen. In this case, analogously to the beam path described when viewed from the front side, the linearly polarized light enters into the second phase-shifting layer 26 and, depending on the local orientation of the nematic λ / 4 layer in the regions 26-1 and 26-. 2 converted into right circular or left circular polarized light. Only the right circularly polarized light, for example, the areas 26-1, is reflected by the cholesteric layer 24, the left circularly polarized radiation component is transmitted. The reflected right circularly polarized light is converted by the nematic λ / 4 layer 26 in the retransmission in linearly polarized light, and transmitted by the overlying polarization filter without appreciable absorption, since the resulting linear polarization just corresponds to the original polarization of the light. The motif of the second phase-shifting layer 26 formed by the regions 26-1 and 26-2 thus emerges with high contrast, since the security element 20 reflects back the incident radiation only in the regions 26-1, so that these regions are bright, the transmitting regions 26-2, on the other hand, appear dark. Again, by rotation of the linear polarizing filter by 90 °, a negative image of the subject can be obtained. When viewed from the rear side, the motif of the opposite first phase-shifting layer 22 does not appear. The cholesteric layer 24 thus functions as a motif-dependent mirror which, together with the nematic λ / 4 layers 22 and 26, reflects a different motif image, depending on the viewing direction.

3 schematically illustrates the production of a double-sided view-through security element 30 according to a specific exemplary embodiment of the invention. In this case, as shown in FIG. 3 (a), a first layer composite 32 is made of a release film 34, for example an untreated PET film, a first alignment layer 36, for example a photoalignment layer, a first phase-shifting layer 38 of a nematic liquid crystal material and an optical active layer 40 is generated from cholesteric liquid crystal material.

In this case, the first layer composite 32 contains a first motif, which is produced in the exemplary embodiment as follows: A photopolymerizable layer 36 of polyvinyl cinnamate or polyimide is applied to the release film 34, corresponding to exposure in the manner described above by exposure to polarized light the first desired motif can be structured. Onto the structured layer 36, a nematic liquid-crystal layer 38 is then applied which, in the regions 38-1 and / or 38-2, corresponds in accordance with the respective configuration predetermined by the layer 36. direction oriented. The layer 36 acts as an alignment layer for the nematic liquid crystal layer 38, so that the imprinted motif of the photoalignment layer 36 continues into the liquid crystal layer 38.

In addition, a second layer composite 42 having an optically substantially isotropic film 44, a second alignment layer 46, for example a photoalignment layer, and a second phase-shifting layer 48 made from a nematic liquid crystal material is produced. The second layer composite 42 contains a second motif, which can be generated by means of the photoalignment layer 46 as described above.

The first layer composite 32 is then laminated over an adhesive layer 50 (FIG. 3 (b)) onto the free rear side of the optically isotropic film 44 of the second layer composite 42, as indicated by the arrow 52. Subsequently, the release film 34 is removed by separation winding, so that a security element with the layer sequence shown in Fig. 3 (b) is formed.

For some applications, it may be advantageous if the stable film is not, as in the embodiment of Fig. 3, in the middle of the layer structure, but if the optically active layers are protected on one or both sides by films. Fig. 4 shows schematically such a double-sided see-through security element 60 according to a further embodiment of the invention.

For the preparation of the see-through resistivity element 60, a first photo-alignment layer 64, a first phase-shifting layer 66 of a nematic liquid crystal material, an optically active layer 68 of cholesteric liquid crystal material are applied to a suitably pretreated, optically substantially isotropic film 62 by successive coating. A second photo-alignment layer 70 and a second phase-shifting layer 72 made of a nematic liquid crystal material are applied.

Analogous to the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 3, by structuring the photoalignment layers 64 and 70, motifs are generated in the phase-shifting layers 66 and 72. If necessary, primers or adhesion promoter layers 74 can be applied between the film 62 and the first photoalignment layer 64, as well as between the cholesteric layer 68 and the second photoalignment layer 70.

A second, optically substantially isotropic film 78 is then applied to this layer composite by means of a laminating adhesive 76, so that the see-through security element 60 is protected from both sides. The functioning of the security element is not impaired by the optically isotropic foils 62, 78.

The double-sided see-through security element of FIG. 5 largely corresponds with its layer structure to the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, but differs therefrom in the sequence of the layers applied to the optically isotropic films. To produce the security element of FIG. 5, a first layer composite 65 is produced by coating an optically substantially isotropic film 62 with an optional adhesion promoter layer 74, a first photoalignment layer 64, a first phase-shifting layer 66 of a nematic liquid crystal material, and an optically active layer 68 cholesteric liquid crystal material, as shown in Fig. 5 (a).

In addition, a further layer composite 75 is produced by applying an optional adhesion promoter to a second optically substantially isotropic film 78. layer 74, a second photo-alignment layer 70 and a second phase-shifting layer 72 is applied. The second layer composite 75 is then laminated to the cholesteric layer 68 of the first layer composite 65 via an adhesive layer 76 (FIG. 5 (b)), as indicated by reference numeral 79. The two layer composites 65, 75 may additionally be provided with adhesion promoters in order to improve the laminating resistance with the laminating adhesive. The optical mode of operation is not changed by the modified manufacturing method of FIG. 5.

In the exemplary embodiments described so far, the motifs are introduced into the phase-shifting layers by aligning the nematic liquid crystals with the aid of suitably pretreated alignment layers. In the following, further exemplary embodiments of the invention are described with reference to FIGS. 6 to 13, in which the motifs are produced by printing technology without such alignment-promoting measures. The underlying principle is first explained with reference to the schematic representation of FIG.

The security element 80 of FIG. 6 contains, as the first optically active layer, a layer 84 of cholesteric liquid-crystalline material which selectively reflects light of a predetermined circular polarization in a predetermined wavelength range, depending on the employed twisting light. For explanation, it is assumed again that the cholesteric layer 84 reflects right-circularly polarized light and transmits light of opposite polarization direction without significant absorption.

A second 82 and third 86 optically active layer of nematic liquid crystalline material are disposed on opposite sides of the cholesteric layer 84. They form for light from the predetermined wave Length region in each case a phase-shifting layer, it being assumed for the explanation of Fig. 6 that the two phase-shifting layers 82, 86 each represent a λ / 2 layer due to their layer thickness in the relevant wavelength range. The side of the first phase-shifting layer 82 will be referred to as the front side, the side of the second phase-shifting layer 86 as the rear side.

The phase-shifting layers 82, 86 are now not printed over the entire surface, but only partially, wherein the shape and arrangement of the printed areas 82-1, 86-1 and the recessed areas 82-2, 86-2 two independent motives in the form of patterns , Characters or encodings that serve to verify the security element 80 from opposite sides.

Unlike the embodiments described above, the verification of the security element 80 is not performed with linear polarizing filters, but with the aid of circular polarizers which transmit only light of a specific circular polarization. Such circular polarizers can be formed for example by a linear polarizer and a downstream λ / 4 plate.

Without aids, the motifs of the phase-shifting layers 82, 86 are not recognizable to the viewer. On the other hand, if the security element 80 is illuminated with isotropic light and viewed upwardly by a circular polarizer, depending on the position of the security element 80, the motif of the first or second phase-shifting layer clearly emerges.

The incident isotropic light is still isotropic even after passing through the first phase-shifting layer 82, since the additional path difference of λ / 2 affects all polarization directions in the same way. The cholesteric layer 84 is the only reflective layer in the layer structure of FIG. 6. It just reflects the right circularly polarized portion of the incident isotropic light as defined above, while transmitting the left circularly polarized radiation component.

The reflected right circularly polarized light is now converted into left circularly polarized light in the printed areas 82-1 or 86-1 of the nematic λ / 2 layer upon re-passage, while it is circularly polarized in the recessed areas 82-2 or 86-2 remains. Therefore, when the security element is viewed through a circular polarizer which passes only right circularly polarized light, the recess 82-2 or 86-2 appears bright, while the areas 82-1 or 86-1 covered by the nematic λ / 2 layer appear dark. The inverse contrast is when viewed through a circular polarizer which transmits only left circularly polarized light. If, as in the exemplary embodiment, no further reflective layers are provided, the visual impression when viewed from the front side (or rear side) is not influenced by a polarization change of the transmitted light by the backside (or pre-lateral) λ / 2 layer.

Another possibility of verification is to illuminate the security element 80 with circularly polarized light, for example, by directing isotropic illumination radiation through a circular polarizer, which transmits only right circularly polarized light, to the security element.

In the recessed areas 82-2 or 86-2, the incident right circularly polarized radiation is reflected from the cholesteric layer 84, so that these areas appear bright to a viewer. In the occupied areas 82-1 or 86-1, on the other hand, the incident light is converted from the nematic λ / 2 layer into left circularly polarized light which is transmitted by the cholesteric layer 84 and absorbed by a preferably dark background. These areas therefore appear obscure to the viewer. Again, the inverted contrast can be obtained by viewing with light of opposite polarization direction.

After the above explanation, it is understood that the maximum brightness contrast between occupied and recessed areas is achieved when nematic λ / 2 layers are used. By using phase-shifting layers of different thickness and thus different path difference, multiple brightness levels can be provided. For example, a subject with 4 levels of brightness can be achieved by using phase shifting layers with a retardation of 0 (recessed areas), λ / 6, λ / 3, and λ / 2 (maximum thickness). Similarly, subjects with a greater number of brightness levels can be realized.

The production of a double-sided see-through security element 90 according to a further exemplary embodiment of this variant of the invention will now be explained with reference to FIG. 7, FIG. 7 (a) the finished security element 90 and FIG. 7 (b) the layers or layer composites produced separately prior to laminating schematically shows.

To produce a first layer composite 92, a layer 96 of nematic liquid-crystalline material is partially printed on a smooth plastic film 94 of good surface quality in the form of a first desired motif. On this Nematenschicht 96 and the plastic film 94 is printed over the entire surface a transfer assist layer 98, the adhesion to the Plastic film 94 is lower than the Nematenschicht 96 and the subsequent transfer of the only partially present Nematenschicht 96 is used. As described in greater detail above, this transfer assist layer may be, for example, a UV-crosslinkable lacquer layer.

Similarly, a second layer composite 100 is produced by printing on a smooth plastic film 102 of good surface quality a layer 104 of nematic liquid-crystalline material partially in the form of a second desired motif. Also on the Nematenschicht 104 and the plastic film 102 is printed over the entire surface of a transfer auxiliary layer 106, the adhesion to the plastic film 102 is less than the Nematenschicht 104th

Furthermore, a cho- lesteric layer 110 is laminated onto an optically largely isotropic carrier foil 108 (reference numeral 112) which, for example, reflects right-circularly polarized light of the predetermined wavelength range. The optically isotropic carrier film 108 may consist, for example, of cocoolefin copolymers or of a combination of differently stretched plastic films. Then, the first and second layer composites 92 and 100 are laminated to the top and bottom of the layer composite of carrier film 108 and cholesteric layer 110, as indicated by the arrows 114 and 116. Subsequently, the carrier films 94 and 102 are removed by means of separating windings, so that the layer structure shown in Fig. 7 (a) is formed, wherein the reference numeral 118 denotes the laminating adhesive layers.

It goes without saying that further layers can be applied to the security element 90 for further processing, depending on the planned field of application. For example, the security element 90 can be heated on both sides. be equipped gelfähig and run in as a security thread for a banknote with an opening.

In the production described, a transfer step can be saved if the cholesteric layer 110 is also used as a transfer assist layer for the nematic layer 104 of the second layer composite. In this case, use is made of the fact that the cholesteric layer 110, as well as the above-exemplified UV-crosslinkable lacquer layer, has a lower adhesion to the plastic film 102 than to the nemate layer 104. The modified production results in the embodiment shown in FIG the cholesteric liquid crystal material is located between the nematic motif areas 104, so that the cholesteric layer 110 can be correspondingly uneven, unlike in the merely schematic representation of FIG. 8.

For reasons of durability, it may also be advantageous to construct the entire optically active layer composite on one side of a carrier film, as shown schematically in FIG. 9. There, a first Schichrverbund 122 from a smooth plastic film 124, a partially printed in the form of a first desired motif layer 126 of nematic liquid-crystalline material and a UV-crosslinkable lacquer layer 128 is laminated on a substantially largely isotropic carrier film 120 as a transfer auxiliary layer and the plastic film 124 then removed See Fig. 9 (b).

In a second layer composite 130, a second motif layer 134 of nematic liquid-crystalline material is printed on a smooth plastic film 132 and a cholesteric layer 136 of suitable thickness is applied as a transfer assist layer. The second layer composite 130 is applied to the carrier film 120 with the already applied first layer composite. schiert and then removed the second plastic film 132 by separating winding. Overall, the double-sided see-through security element 140 shown in FIG. 9 (b) is formed, in which reference numeral 138 denotes the laminating adhesive layers.

If the optically largely isotropic carrier film can be printed directly with liquid crystal material, it is possible to dispense with a laminating adhesive layer and a transfer auxiliary layer, as illustrated schematically with reference to FIG. 10 (a). In this case, a Nematen layer 154 of the desired thickness and with the desired first motif is printed directly onto the carrier film 152. The second layer composite 130 is produced as in the embodiment of FIG. 9, laminated on the printed carrier film 152, 154 via an adhesive layer 156 and the plastic film 132 subsequently removed, so that the double-sided see-through security element 150 of FIG. 10 (b) is formed.

The entire layer structure can also be arranged between two optically largely isotropic carrier foils, as shown schematically using the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 11. The security element 160 shown there is a variant of the security element 140 described with reference to FIG. 9, so that the matching layers are designated by the same reference numerals. In addition to the exemplary embodiment of FIG. 9, a second optically largely isotropic carrier foil 162 is provided which, together with the first carrier foil 120, encloses and protects the optically effective layer composite. The sequence of the laminations is not strictly predetermined: for example, the carrier foil 162 can be laminated onto the security element 140 of FIG. 9 (b) via an adhesive layer (not shown), or the sequence of the nematic layer 126 and the transfer auxiliary layer 128 can be interchanged without such changes had no impact on the optical functioning of the security element.

If no ideal carrier foils (ie, optically largely isotropic foils or foils with a well-defined anisotropy of the type discussed below) are available, possible disruptions due to a carrier foil with slightly anisotropic optical properties can be reduced by the structure shown schematically in FIG.

The double-sided see-through security element 170 of FIG. 12 contains a carrier foil 172 with a slight optical anisotropy. On opposite sides of the carrier film 172, two layer composites 130 of the type shown in FIG. 9 (a) with motif-bearing nematic layers 134-A and 134-B and similar cholesteric layers 136-A or 136-B are laminated over adhesive layers 174. Since each nemate layer 134A, 134B interacts with its own cholesteric layer 136A, 136B to achieve the mirror effect, a slight optical anisotropy of the carrier film 172 does not disturb the optical functioning of the security element 170. However, the retardation of the carrier film 172 may not correspond to λ / 2 in the case of similar cholesteric layers 136-A or 136-B, because then a complete reflector would emerge which no longer reflects only circularly polarized light.

However, if the two cholesteric layers are designed for reflection of opposite circular polarization directions, then the carrier film advantageously has a path difference of λ / 2, because then the circularly polarized light transmitted through the first cholesteric layer is just reversed in its polarization direction by the carrier film and so is also transmitted from the second, designed in the opposite polarization direction cholesteric layer.

A further variant for producing a through-seat security element 180 according to the invention is shown schematically in FIG. 13. In this manufacturing process, the nematic layers 184, 188 are printed in the desired thickness and with the desired motifs on a PET film 182, 186, respectively. The cholesteric liquid crystal layer 190 is additionally printed on one of the nematic layers 188 as a transfer assist layer. The laminate having the nemate layer 188 and the cholesteric liquid crystal layer 190 is then laminated to the film 182 carrying the first nematic layers 184. The carrier film 186 of the laminated layer composite can then be peeled off, as shown in FIG. 13.

If a completely releasable composite is desired, an alignment layer, for example a photoalignment layer of the type described above, can additionally be applied to a layer composite comprising nemates and cholesteric liquid crystals, and the second nematic layer can be printed as a motif on the alignment layer.

In all cases described, in which optically essentially isotropic carrier films were used, according to the invention it is also possible to use films as carrier films or laminating films whose path difference corresponds to an integer multiple of λ. In particular carrier films are preferred with a path difference of l * λ, since then the layer thickness tolerance is maximum. In addition, it is also advantageous for the optical effect if the path difference is approximately constant in the largest possible part of the visible spectrum. All described embodiments can also be provided with further information by recesses in individual layers or by recesses in applied metallization layers. By partial printing of magnetic ink or simple black ink, non-transparent portions may be formed on one or both sides of the cholesteric liquid crystal layer. The color shift effect of the liquid crystal layers appears more brilliant in these areas because of the absorbing background.

Claims

P a n t a n s p r e c h e
1. A double-sided see-through security element for securing valuables, with motifs incorporated in the security element in the form of patterns, symbols or codes, characterized by
a first optically active layer of a cholesteric liquid crystalline material which selectively reflects light of a predetermined circular polarization in a predetermined wavelength range,
a second and third optically active layer, which are arranged on both sides of the first optically active layer and which each form a phase-shifting layer for light from the predetermined wavelength range,
wherein the second and third optically active layers contain mutually independent motifs for verifying the security element from opposite sides.
2. see-through security element according to claim 1, characterized in that one or both of the phase-shifting layers are formed of nematic liquid-crystalline material.
3. see-through security element according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that form one or both of the phase-shifting layers for light from the predetermined wavelength range, at least in some areas a [lambda] / 4-layer.
4. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that form one or both of the phase-shifting layers for light from the predetermined wavelength range, at least in some areas a [lambda] / 2 layer.
5. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that the motifs are formed by partially different orientation of one or both of the phase-shifting layers.
6. see-through security element according to claim 5, characterized in that one or more photoalignment layers for aligning one or both of the phase-shifting layers are provided.
7. see-through security element according to claim 5, characterized in that one or more embossed alignment layers for aligning one or both of the phase-shifting layers are provided.
8. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 7, characterized in that the motifs are formed by partially different thickness of one or both of the phase-shifting layers.
9. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 8, characterized in that one or both of the phase-shifting layers are present only in regions in the form of a motif.
10. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 9, characterized in that one or both of the phase-shifting layers is arranged directly above or below a full-surface transfer auxiliary layer.
11. see-through security element according to claim 10, characterized in that at least one transfer auxiliary layer of a UV-curing
Paint layer is formed.
12. see-through security element according to claim 10 or 11, characterized in that at least one transfer auxiliary layer is formed from a cholesteric liquid-crystalline material.
13. see-through security element according to claim 12, characterized in that the first optically active layer forms a transfer assist layer for one of the phase-shifting layers.
14. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 13, characterized in that one or more optically substantially isotropic adhesive layers and / or one or more optically substantially isotropic adhesive layers are provided.
15. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 14, characterized in that the security element has negative information in the form of patterns, characters or codes, which are formed by recesses in one or more of the optically active layers.
16. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 15, characterized in that the security element non-transparent areas in the form of patterns, characters or codes on has, by partial application of ink or magnetic ink on one or both sides of the first optically active layer are formed.
17. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 16, characterized in that the optically active layers are arranged on both sides of a carrier film.
18. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 16, characterized in that the optically active layers are arranged on one side of a carrier film.
19. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 16, characterized in that the optically active layers are arranged between two carrier films.
20. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 17 to 19, characterized in that at least one carrier film for light from the predetermined wavelength range is optically substantially isotropic.
21. See-through security element according to at least one of claims 17 to 20, characterized in that at least one carrier film consists of cycloolefin copolymers.
22. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 17 to 21, characterized in that at least one carrier film consists of a combination of two or more differently oriented plastic films.
23. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 17 to 22, characterized in that at least one carrier film for light from the predetermined wavelength range has a defined optical anisotropy with a constant over the extent of the security element retardation.
24. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 17 to 23, characterized in that at least one carrier film has an optical anisotropy with a path difference of n * [lambda], with n from the natural numbers, preferably with a path difference of l * [lambda] ,
25. see-through security element according to at least one of claims 17 to 24, characterized in that one of the phase-shifting layers is partially printed in the form of a motif on the carrier film.
26. A method for producing a double-sided see-through security element which has motifs in the form of patterns, characters or codes, characterized by the method steps:
Providing a first optically active layer of a cholesteric liquid crystalline material which selectively reflects light with a predetermined circular polarization in a predetermined wavelength range, and
Arranging a second and a third optically active layer, which in each case form a phase-shifting layer for light from the predetermined wavelength range, on both sides of the first optically active layer,
wherein the second and third optically active layers are provided with mutually independent motifs for verifying the security element from opposite sides.
27. The method according to claim 26, characterized in that one or both of the phase-shifting layers are formed from nematic liquid-crystalline material.
28. The method according to claim 27, characterized in that the liquid-crystalline layers by means of gravure printing, screen printing, flexo printing, Knif ecoating or curtain coating are printed.
29. The method according to at least one of claims 26 to 28, characterized in that one or more of the optically active layers are formed on a release film, which is removed after combining the optically active layers of the resulting layer composite.
30. The process as claimed in claim 26, wherein one or more of the optically active layers are produced on an optically substantially isotropic carrier film which remains in the resulting layer composite after combining the optically active layers.
31. Method according to claim 26, characterized in that one or more of the optically active layers are produced on a carrier foil having a defined optical anisotropy and a path difference constant over the extent of the security element, which after combining the optically active ones Layers in the resulting layer composite remains.
32. Method according to claim 27, characterized in that at least one of the phase-shifting layers for aligning the nematic liquid crystal material is applied to an alignment layer, in particular a photoalignment layer or an embossed alignment layer.
33. The method according to claim 32, characterized in that a photoalignment layer is applied to a release film and the photoalignment layer is inscribed by exposure to a motif in the form of differently oriented areas.
34. The method according to at least one of claims 29 to 33, characterized in that at least one of the phase-shifting layers is printed on a release film.
35. The method according to claim 34, characterized in that the at least one phase-shifting layer is partially printed.
36. The method of claim 34 or 35, characterized in that on the at least one phase-shifting layer over the entire surface a Transf erhilf sschicht is applied, the adhesion to the release film is less than the phase-shifting layer.
37. Method according to claim 30, characterized in that at least one of the phase-shifting layers is printed on an optically substantially isotropic carrier foil or on a carrier foil with a defined optical anisotropy.
38. The method according to claim 37, characterized in that the at least one phase-shifting layer is partially printed.
39. Valuable item, such as branded article, valuable document or the like, with a double-sided see-through security element according to at least one of claims 1 to 38.
40. The object of value according to claim 39, characterized in that the see-through security element is arranged in or above a window area or a continuous opening of the object of value.
41. The object of value according to claim 39 or 40, characterized in that the object of value is a security paper, a document of value or a product packaging.
42. A method for authenticity testing a see-through security element according to one of claims 1 to 38 or a valuables item according to one of claims 39 to 41, characterized in that the see-through security element is checked by means of a linear polarizer or a circular polarizer from one or both sides on the presence of predetermined motifs and assessing the authenticity of the security element based on the test result.
PCT/EP2006/010087 2005-11-03 2006-10-19 Transparent security element and method for its production WO2007051529A1 (en)

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EP06806393A EP1945465B1 (en) 2005-11-03 2006-10-19 Transparent security element and method for its production
AT06806393T AT452769T (en) 2005-11-03 2006-10-19 Peak safety element and method for the production thereof
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DE502006005751D1 (en) 2010-02-04
AT452769T (en) 2010-01-15
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EP1945465A1 (en) 2008-07-23
DE102005052928A1 (en) 2007-05-16

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