WO2015027294A1 - Multichannel optical device - Google Patents

Multichannel optical device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2015027294A1
WO2015027294A1 PCT/AU2014/050201 AU2014050201W WO2015027294A1 WO 2015027294 A1 WO2015027294 A1 WO 2015027294A1 AU 2014050201 W AU2014050201 W AU 2014050201W WO 2015027294 A1 WO2015027294 A1 WO 2015027294A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
region
optical device
substrate
state
optical
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/AU2014/050201
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Robert Lee
Phei Lok
Original Assignee
Innovia Security Pty Ltd
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 AU2013903341 priority Critical
Priority to AU2013101172A priority patent/AU2013101172B4/en
Priority to AU2013903341A priority patent/AU2013903341A0/en
Priority to AU2013101172 priority
Application filed by Innovia Security Pty Ltd filed Critical Innovia Security Pty Ltd
Publication of WO2015027294A1 publication Critical patent/WO2015027294A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/24Coupling light guides
    • G02B6/26Optical coupling means
    • 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
    • B42D25/324Reliefs
    • 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
    • B42D25/373Metallic materials
    • 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
    • B42D25/40Manufacture
    • B42D25/405Marking
    • B42D25/425Marking by deformation, e.g. embossing
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS
    • G02B5/00Optical elements other than lenses
    • G02B5/18Diffraction gratings
    • G02B5/1847Manufacturing methods
    • G02B5/1852Manufacturing methods using mechanical means, e.g. ruling with diamond tool, moulding
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS OR APPARATUS
    • G02B5/00Optical elements other than lenses
    • G02B5/18Diffraction gratings
    • G02B5/1861Reflection gratings characterised by their structure, e.g. step profile, contours of substrate or grooves, pitch variations, materials
    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07DHANDLING OF COINS OR VALUABLE PAPERS, e.g. TESTING, SORTING BY DENOMINATIONS, COUNTING, DISPENSING, CHANGING OR DEPOSITING
    • G07D7/00Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of valuable papers or for segregating those which are unacceptable, e.g. banknotes that are alien to a currency
    • G07D7/06Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of valuable papers or for segregating those which are unacceptable, e.g. banknotes that are alien to a currency using wave or particle radiation
    • G07D7/12Visible light, infra-red or ultraviolet radiation
    • G07D7/128Viewing devices

Abstract

An optical device, such as a security device for a banknote or other document, including: a substrate which defines a plane; and a plurality of optical elements corresponding to structures projecting from and/or into the substrate, wherein the plurality of optical elements are configured to provide three or more different images, each image associated with a unique viewing direction such that each image does not interfere, or at most minimally interferes, with another image when viewed from a particular viewing position when the optical device is rotated about a rotational axis projecting from the plane.

Description

ULTICHANNEL OPTICAL DEVICE FIELD OF THE INVENTION
[00013 The invention generally relates to the field of security features for documents, in particular optically variable security features.
BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION
[0002] It is well known that many of the world's banknotes, as well as other security documents, carry optica! devices which produce images that var with angle of view of the device or angle of illumination by an external light source. Because the image on the device varies in this way, it cannot be copied by conventional photographic, computer scanning or other reprographic printing technologies.
[00033 However, such variation is dependent on tilting of the security document Though this provides a useful security visual effect, the result is a broad range of security visual effects based on the same underlying principle (i.e. the tilting of the security document). It would be desirable to provide an optically variable effect which is dependent on a different, oral least further, action than simple tilting.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0004] According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided an optical device including: a substrate which defines a plane; and a plurality of optical elements corresponding to structures projecting from and/or into the substrate, wherein the plurality of optical elements are configured to provide three or more different images, each image associated with a. unique viewing direction such that each image does not interfere, or at most minimally interferes, wit another image when viewed from a particular viewing position when the optical device is rotated about a rotational axis projecting f rom the plane.
[0005J The rotation axis preferably projects perpendicularly from the plane. Advantageously, thi allows for ease of use by a user viewing the optical device.
[OOOBj Optionally, there are four identifiable images. Each image may be associated with a particular viewing direction, and the viewing directions may be arranged at 90 degree intervals about the rotational axis. Having four viewing directions advantageously corresponds to the four sides of common documents (such as banknotes).
(0007] In some embodiments, the structures project from the substrate. In other embodiments, the structures project into the substrate, in further embodiments, the structures project partially into the substrate and partially from the substrate,
[0008] Preferably, for each image, each optical element includes a region associated with the image, and each region is structured to determine the appearance of the optical element when viewed from a viewing direction associated with the region.
[0009] In an optional configuration, each region is configured to appear as one of: an off state; and an on state, when viewed from the viewing direction associated with the region. The on state may correspond to a structure including at feast one angled face, angled with respect to the plane, wherein the normal of the angled face is substantially parallel to the viewing direction associated with the region. The off state may correspond to a structure including a face substantially parallel to the plane. The off state may include only faces parallel and perpendicular to the plane, thereby defining a cuboid structure.
Advantageously, the structures described in respect of on and off states may be relatively easy to implement and effective. In optional configurations, each structure including an angled face includes a diffraction grating formed on the angled face. Advantageously, a diffraction grating may provide a more interesting visual effect.
[0010] In an alternative optional configuration, each region is configured to appear in one of three or more states, when viewed from the viewing direction associated with the region, each state having a different associated brightness. Therefore, each image may be a greysea!e image. Advantageously, this ma provide fo more complicated images than a device with two states. One of the states may correspond to an off state, one of the states may correspond to an on state, and the remaining one or more states may therefore correspond to intermediate states. The on state may corresponds to a structure including an angled face, angled with respect to the plane, wherein the normal of the angled face is substantially parallel to the viewing direction associated with the region, and the off state may correspond to a structure including a face substantially parallel to the plane, and the, or each, intermediate state may include both an angled face and a parallel face. Advantageously, this arrangement ma effectively provide intermediate states while maintaining a high contrast between states. There may be two or more intermediate states, and each intermediate state may therefore have an associated brightness, the associated brightness determined by a ratio of the area of angled face to parallel face of each intermediate state. Advantageously, this may allow for ease of design of the optical element. In optional configurations, each structure including an angled face includes a diffraction grating formed on the angled face. Advantageously, a diffraction grating may provide a more interesting visual effect.
[00113 Where applicable, the diffraction grating of each angled face may be a zero-order diffraction grating.
[0012] In some preferred embodiments, a plan view of each region has a first side and a second side, each side with length less than 250 microns, in particular each region has a first side with length between 30 and 60 microns, and a second side with length between 30 and 60 microns. In other embodiments, the size of each region is preferably sufficiently large to allow for coloured ink to be printed in register to each region, such that each region is associated with a colour.
Preferably, each region is rectangular, and more preferably square-shaped in plan view.
[0013] Optionally, the optical device is configured as a reflective optical device. In an alternative option, the optical device is configured as a transmissive optical device.
[0014] Preferably, the optical elements are formed from an embossed radiation curable ink,
[0015] Optionally, the optica! elements are arranged in a grid, which may advantageously allow for ease of design.
[0016] The optical device is preferably a security device, for example as incorporated into security document such as a banknote.
[00173 According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a security document including an optical device according to the first aspect.
[0018] The security document may further include at least one further security feature. Advantageously, this may provide for stronger security. The security document may be a banknote.
[001 3 According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for manufacturing an optica! device according to the first aspect, the method including the steps of: applying a radiation curable ink to a surface of a substrate; embossing the radiation curable ink using an embossing tool, the embossing tool configured for forming a structure in the radiation curable ink corresponding to the optica! elements of the device; and curing the radiation curable ink,
[0020J According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method for manufacturing a security document, the security document including a substrate, the method including the step of: in a region of a first surface of the substrate, forming an optical device according to the method of the third aspect.
Preferably, the substrate is a transparent or translucent substrate. Optionally, the method ma further include the step of applying a first opacifying layer to the first surface of the substrate, the first opacifying layer being omitted in a region to form a window region corresponding, in location, to the optical element. Optionally, the method may further include the ste of applying a second opacifying layer to a second surface of the substrate, opposite the first surface. The second opacifying layer may be omitted in a window region corresponding, in location, to the optical element. Alternatively, the second opacifying layer may cover the optical element on said second surface to form a haif-window region.
[0021 ] Alternatively, the substrate is an opaque substrate.
Security Document or Token
[0022] As used herein the term security documents and tokens includes all types of documents and tokens of value and identification documents including, but not limited to the following: items of currency such as banknotes and coins, credit cards, cheques, passports, identify cards, securities and share certificates, driver's licenses, deeds of title, travel documents such as airline and train tickets, entrance cards and tickets, birth, deat and marriage certificates, and academic transcripts.
[0023] The invention is particularly, but not exclusively, applicable to security documents or tokens such as banknotes or identification documents such as identity cards or passports formed from a substrate to which one or more layers of printing are applied. The diffraction gratings and optically variable devices described herein may also have application in other products, such as packaging.
Security Device or Feature
[0024] As used herein the term security device or feature includes any one of a large number of security devices, elements or features intended to protect the security document or token from counterfeiting, copying, alteration or tampering. Security devices or f eatures may be provided in or on the substrate of the security document or in or on one or more layers applied to the base substrate, and may take a wide variety of forms, such as security threads embedded in layers of the security document; security inks such as fluorescent, luminescent and
phosphorescent inks, metatlic inks, iridescent inks, photochromic, thermochromic, hydrochromic or piezochromic inks; printed and embossed features, including relief structures; interference layers; liquid crystal devices; lenses and lenticular structures; optically variable devices (OVDs) such as diffractive devices including diffraction gratings, holograms and diffractive optical elements (DQEs).
Substrate
[0Ό25] As used herein, the term substrate refers to the base material from which the security document or token is formed. The base material ma be paper or other f ibrous material such as cellulose; a plastic or polymeric material including but not limited to polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polycarbonate (PC), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), biaxia!ly- oriented polypropylene (BOPP); or a composite material of two or more materials, such as a laminate of paper and at least one plastic materiai, or of two or more polymeric materials.
Transparent Windows and Half Windows
[0026] As used herein the term window refers to a transparent or translucent area in the security document compared to the substantially opaque region to which printing is applied. The window may be fully transparent so that it allows the transmission of light substantially unaffected, or it may be partly transparent or translucent partially allowing the transmission of light but without allowing objects to be seen clearly through the window area.
[0027J A window area may be formed in a polymeric security document which has at least one layer of transparent polymeric material and one or more opacifying layers applied to at least one side of a transparent polymeric substrate, by omitting least one opacifying layer in the region forming the window area. If opacifying layers are applied to both sides of a transparent substrate a fully transparent window may be formed by omitting the opacifying layers on bot sides of the transparent substrate in the window area.
[00283 A partly transparent or translucent area, hereinafter referred to as a "half-window", may be formed in a polymeric security document which has opacifying layers on both sides by omitting the opacifying layers on one side only of the security document in the windo area so that the "half-window" is not fui!y transparent, but allows some light to pass through without allowing objects to be viewed dearly through the half-window.
[0029] Alternatively, it is possible fo the substrates to be formed from an substantially opaque material, such as paper or fibrous material, with an insert of transparent plastics material inserted into a cut-out, or recess in the paper or fibrous substrate to form a transparent window or a translucent half-window area.
Opacifying layers
[0030] One or more opacifying layers may be applied to a transparent substrate to increase the opacity of the security document. An opacifying layer is such that LT < U, where L0 is the amount of light incident on the document, and LT is the amount of light transmitted through the document. An opacifying layer may comprise any one or more of a variety of opacifying coatings. For example, the opacifying coatings may comprise a pigment, such as titanium dioxide, dispersed within a binder or carrier of heat-activated cross-linkable polymeric material.
Alternatively, a substrate of transparent plastic materia) could be sandwiched between opacifying layers of paper or other partially or substantially opaque material to which indicia may be subsequently printed or otherwise applied.
Diffractive Optical Elements (DOEs)
[00313 As used herein, the term diffractive optica! element refers to a numerical-type diffractive optica! element (DOE). Numerical-type diffractive optical elements {DOEs} rely on the mapping of complex data that reconstruct in the far field (or reconstruction plane) a two-dimensional intensity pattern. Thus, when substantially collimated light, e.g. from a point fight source or a laser, is incident upon the DOE, an interference pattern is generated that produces a projected image in the reconstruction plane that is visible when a suitable viewing surface is located i the reconstruction plane, or when the DOE is viewed in transmission at the reconstruction plane. The transformation between the two planes can be approximated by a fast Fourier transform (FFT). Thus, complex data including amplitude and phase information has to be physically encoded in the micro-structure of the DOE. This DOE data can be calculated by performing an inverse FFT transformation of the desired reconstruction (i.e. the desired intensity pattern in the far field).
[0032] DOEs are sometimes referred to as computer-generated holograms, but they differ from other types of holograms, such as rainbow holograms, Fresnel holograms and volume reflection holograms.
Refractive index n
[0033] The refractive index of a medium n is the ratio of the speed of light in vacuum to the speed of light in the medium. The refractive index n of a lens determines the amount by which light rays reaching the lens surface will be refracted, according to Snell's law: f0034] n , * Sin ( « ) = /> * Sin (# ) [0035] where is the angle between an incident ray and the normal at the point of incidence at the lens surface , Θ is the angle between the refracted ray and the normal at the point of incidence, and ni is the refractive index of air (as an approximation may be taken to be 1 ).
Embossabie Radiation Curable Ink
[0036] The term embossabie radiation curable ink used herein refers to any ink, lacquer or other coating which may be applied to the substrate in a printing process, and which ca be embossed while soft to form a relief structure and cured by radiation to fix the embossed relief structure. The curing process does not take place before the radiation curable ink is embossed, but it is possible for the curing process to take place either after embossing or at substantially the same time as the embossing step. The radiation curable ink is preferably curable by ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Alternatively, the radiation curable ink ma be cured by other forms of radiation, such as electron beams or X-rays.
[0037] The radiation curable ink is preferably a transparent or translucent ink formed from a clear resin material. Such a transparent or translucent ink is particularly suitable for printing light-transmissive security elements such as sub- wavelength gratings, transmissive diffractive gratings and iens structures.
[0038] In one particularly preferred embodiment, the transparent or translucent ink preferably comprises an acrylic based UV curable clear embossabie lacquer or coating,
[0039] Such UV curable lacquers can be obtained from various
manufacturers, including Kingfisher Ink Limited, product ultraviolet type UVF-203 or similar. Alternatively, the radiation curable embossabie coatings ma be based on other compounds, eg nitro-ceilulose.
[0040] The radiation curable inks and lacquers used herein have been found to be particularly suitable for embossing microstructures, including diffractive structures such as diffraction gratings and holograms, and micro!enses and lens arrays. However, they may also be embossed with larger relief structures, such as non-diff ractive optically variable devices.
[00413 The ink is preferably embossed and cured by ultraviolet (UV) radiation at substantially the same time. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the radiation curabie ink is applied and embossed at substantially the same time in a Gravure printing process.
[00423 Preferably, in order to be suitable for Gravure printing, the radiation curable ink has a viscosity falling substantially in the range from about 20 to about 175 centipoise, and more preferably from about 30 to about 150 centipoise. The viscosity may be determined by measuring the time to drain the lacquer from a Zahn Gup #2. A sample which drains in 20 seconds has a viscosity of 30 centipoise, and a sample which drains in 83 seconds has a viscosity of 150 centipoise.
[00433 With some polymeric substrates, it may be necessary to apply an intermediate layer to the substrate before the radiation curable ink is applied to improve the adhesion of the embossed structure formed by the ink to the substrate. The intermediate layer preferably comprises a primer layer, and more preferably the primer layer includes a polyethylene imine. The primer layer may also include a cross-linker, for example a multi-functional isocyanate. Examples of other primers suitable for use in the invention include: hydroxy! terminated polymers; hydroxyl terminated polyester based co-polymers; cross-linked or uncross-linked hydroxylated acrylates; polyurethanes; and UV curing anionic or cationie acrylates. Examples of suitable cross-linkers include: isocyanates;
polyazi idines; zirconium complexes; aluminium acetylacetone; melamines; and carbodi-imides. Metallic Nanoparticle Ink
[0044] As used herein, the term metallic nanoparticle ink refers to an ink having metallic particles of an average size of less than one micron.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0045] Embodiments of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, it is to be appreciated that the embodiments are given by way of illustration only and the invention is not iimited by this illustration. In the drawings:
[0046] Figure 1 a shows a security document including a optical device located within a half-window region;
[0047] Figure 1 b shows a security document including a optical device located within a window region;
[0048] Figure 2 shows an arrangement of optical elements of the surface of a substrate;
[0049] Figure 3a shows an optica! element including four regions and associated viewing directions;
[0050] Figure 3b shows a top-down schematic of a single optical element;
[0051 ] Figure 4 shows the appearance of the optical device when viewed from four different directions;
[00523 Figure 5a shows the structure of a region corresponding to an off state;
[0053] Figure 5b shows the structure of a region corresponding to an on state; [0054] Figure 6a shows the effect on incident light by a reflective region configu ed in an off state;
[0055J Figure 6b shows the effect on incident light by a reflective region configured in an on state;
[0056] Figure 7a shows the effect on incident light by a transmissive region configured in an off state;
[0057] Figure 7b shows the effect on incident light by a transmissive region configured in an on state;
[0058] Figure 8a shows an optical element including four regions configured in off states;
[0059] Figure 8b shows an optical element including one region configured in an on state and three regions configured in off states;
[0060] Figure 8c shows an optical element including two regions configured in on states and two regions configured in off states;
[0061 ] Figure 8d shows an optica! element including three regions configured in on states and one regions configured in an off state;
[0062] Figure 8e shows an optica! element including four regions configured in on states;
[0063] Figure 9 shows a method for viewing the different images of a optica! device;
[0064] Figure 10 shows a method for producing a optical device; [0065] Figure 1 1 shows four different regions configured for different intensities; and
[0066] Figure 12 shows a region including diffractive elements. DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
[0067] Referring to Figures 1 a and 1 b, there is shown a security document 2 including an optical device 4 and an optional further security feature 6. The optical device 4 can correspond to a security device of the security document 2. The security document 2 includes a transparent or translucent substrate 8. The optical device 4 also includes a substrate 8, which in the present case is the same substrate 8 as the security document 2, though this is not a requirement.
[0068] Also shown are first and second opacifying layers 7a, 7b. In Figure 1 , the optical device 4 is shown located in a half-window region s of the securit document 2, in which the first opacifying layer 7a is omitted, and the second opacifying layer 7b covers the optica! device 4. Alternatively, as shown in Figure 1b, the optical device 4 can be located in a full window region 5 of the security document 2, where both the first and second opacifying layers 7a, 7b are absent in the region of the optical device 4. Though the opacifying layers 7a, 7b are shown contiguous with the optica! device 4, this is not necessary. For example, there may be a gap between the edge of the optical device 4 and the edge of the opacifying regions 7a, 7b. Optional further security features 6 include: windows; diffractive optical devices; holograms; microlens based optical variable devices; and any other suitable security feature(s), and can be located within window or half-window regions 9 of the substrate 8 as necessary and/or desired.
Alternatively, the substrate 8 can be opaque, and the optical device 4 can be formed on a surface of the opaque substrate 8.
[0063] Within this disclosure, a group of common elements within the figures are labelled with a number, and specific elements within the group are labelled with the number and a letter suffix (for example, referring to Figure 3, a viewing direction in general can be referred to with label 14, and a specific viewing direction with a label such as 14a).
[0070] Referring to Figure 2, the optical device 4 includes an arrangement of optical elements 10. The arrangement shown in Figure 2 is a regular grid arrangement; however, other arrangements can be utilised, including non-regular arrangements.
[00713 Figure 3a shows four different viewing directions 14 for viewing the optical device 4. It is understood that the optical device 4 can have associated with it three or more viewing directions 14. The viewing directions 14 are distinguished by rotation about an axis 13 projecting from a surface 11 of the substrate 8. The viewing directions 14 are also angled away from the axis 13, as shown. Typically, a viewing direction 14 represents an average or ideal direction from which the user, viewing the optical device 4, will perceive a maximal visual effect, however any visual effects generated by the optical device 4 associated with a particular viewing direction 14 may be visible despite viewing a small angle away from the specified viewing direction 14. Furthermore, the position and arrangement of the light source(s) used to illuminate the optical device 4 can affect the ideal viewing position.
[0072] Figure 3b shows a top-down schematic of a single optical element 10. The optical element 10 includes four different regions 12a, 12b, 12c, 2d. Each region 1 is associated with a viewing direction 14 (i.e. 12a with 14a, 12b with 14b, 12c with 14c, and 12d with 14d). The viewing directions 14 shown in Figures 3a and 3b are at right angles. In general, it is required that angle between adjacent viewing directions 14 differs sufficiently such that the visual effect associated with one viewing direction 14 does not, or at least minimally, interferes with the visual effect associated with another viewing direction 14. [0073] The size of an optical element 10 or a region 12 as used herein is defined as the surface area of the substrate 8 of the optical device 4 covered by the optical element 10 or region 12. In the embodiments described herein, the regions 12 are rectangular or square-shaped in plan view, with the length of each side of the region 1 less than 250 microns, preferably between 30 and 60 microns. In particular embodiments, each region 12 is square, and each optical element 10 is square. It is understood that other sizes of optical element 1 o can be utilised. In one example alternative embodiment, the size of the regions 12 are selected to be sufficiently large to allow for printing of coloured ink onto the regions, for example in register, such that each region 12 can have an associated colour.
[0074] Referring to Figure 4, each viewing direction 14a, 14b, 14c, 14d is associated with a different image 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d, respectively. Each image 16 corresponds to a visual effect, and is configured to be viewable from the associated viewing direction 1 , and not viewable from other viewing directions 14. It is understood that each image 16 can be viewable from a range of angles, with the viewing direction 14 defining a centre of a range of angles. Each optical element 10 corresponds to a pixel of each image 16 and the configuration of each region 12 of a particular optical element 10 determines the appearance of the optical element 10 when viewed from the associated viewing position 14. In this way, each optical element 10 effectively acts as four different pixels, each of which is expressed when viewed from a particular viewing direction 14.
[0075] Referring to Figures 5a and 5b, each region 12 can be in one of two states, corresponding to "off 18a and "on" 18b. An on state 18b corresponds to a region 12 being configured to reflect and/or transmit fight (depending on the optical device 4 configuration) substantially towards the associated viewing direction 14, and an off state 18a corresponds to a region 12 being configured not to reflect or transmit light towards the associated viewing direction 14. It is understood that an off state 18a may correspond to some light being reflected and/or transmitted, however it is necessary that sufficiently less light is reflected and/or transmitted towards the associated viewing direction 14 such that the off 18a states are distinguishable from the on states 18b.
[0076] The structure of the region 12 corresponding to an off state includes an upward facing face 20, as shown in Figure 5a, The upward facing face 20 is substantially parallel to the piane defined by the substrate 8. In the example shown, the upward facing face 20 corresponds to the top face of a cuboid structure, however it is envisaged that the upward facing face 20 could simply correspond to the surface of the substrate 8. The structure of the region 1 corresponding to an on state includes an angled face 22, as shown in Figure 5b.
[0077] Figures 6a and 6b show the different effect on incident light of the two regions types (when configured for reflection) respectively, when viewed from the viewing position associated with the region 12. Figure 7a shows the effect of a particular region 12 configured in an off state, where angled incident rays are predominantly not reflected back towards the viewer. Figure 7b shows the effect of a particular region 12 configured in an on state, where angled incident rays are reflected substantially back in the direction of the incident rays, and therefore will appear bright when viewed at the associated viewing position.
[GG78] Figures 7 and 7b show the different effects on incident light of the two regions types {when configured for transmission). Figure 7a shows the effect of a region 12 configured in an off state, where light incident in a normal direction from the opposite side of the substrate 8 is transmitted through the optical element 10 without change in direction from the normal. Figure 7b shows the effect of a region 12 configured in an on state, where light incident from the opposite side of the substrate 8 to the optical element 10 is refracted by the angled face 22, and therefore tends to be directed towards the observer.
[00793 Figures 8a to 8d show a selection of different optical element 10 configurations based on different combinations of regions 12 configured in an on state and regions 12 configured in an off state. Figure 8a shows an optical element 10 configured with four off regions (I2a: 12b, 12c, 12d). Figure 8b shows an optica! element 10 with one on region (12c) and three off regions {12a,. 12b, 12d), and will therefore appear bright only when viewed from one viewing direction (i.e. viewing direction 14c of Figure 3b). Figure 8c shows an optical element 10 with two on regions (12b, 12c) and two off regions (12a, 12d), and will therefore appea bright when viewed from two viewing directions {i.e. viewing directions 4b and 14c of Figure 3b). Figure 8d shows an optical element 10 with three on regions (12b, 1 c, 12d) and one off region {12a), and will therefore appear bright when viewed from three viewing directions (i.e. viewing directions 14b, 14c, and 14d3 of Figure 3b). Finally, Figure 8e shows an optical element 10 with four on regions (12a, 12b, 2c, 12d), which will appear bright when viewed from all four viewing positions 14a, 14b, 14c, 14d of Figure 3b.
[0080] Figure 9 shows the optical device 4 being rotated about an axis 24 extending from the substrate 8, (for example, the axis 24 is extending
perpendicularly to the surface of the substrate 8) while viewed from a viewing position 26. The optical device 4 is positioned such that the optical device 4 is viewed at an angle away from the axis 24. As the optical device 4 is rotated, the appearance of the optical device 4 will change between the different images 16a, 16b, 16 c, 16d.
[00813 Referring to Figure 10, an embossing tool in the form of a shim is prepared including a base with a surface profile corresponding to the inverse of the required optical device 4 surface profile, at step 50. The shim can be prepared using known methods, for example utilising e-beam or photo lithography and electroplating. A radiation curable ink (RCI) is applied to a suitable substrate 8, for example biaxial polypropylene (BOPP), preferably by printing, at step 52. The RCI is then embossed using the shim at step 54 and simultaneously, or shortly after, embossing, the RCI is cured using an appropriate radiation source, for example a UV light source, at step 56. The substrate 8 may include a primer layer configured for aiding the adhesion of the RCI to the substrate 8. For reflective optical devices, the RCI may subsequently be coating with a metallic layer to provide suitable ref lectivit at optional step 58, The substrate 8 can include opacifying layers 7a, 7b, or opacifying layers 7a, 7b can be printed or otherwise applied to the substrate 8 after f ormation of the optical device 4.
[0082] Referring to Figure 11 , in an embodiment, each region 12 is configured in one of more than two possible states. In particular, as well as the on (slanted face 22) and off (top face 20) states previously described, there can be one or more intermediate states, configured to have an intermediate brightness (when viewed from an associated viewing angle 14). One technique for incorporating different brightness levels is shown in Figure 1 1 , where each region can be selected from an entirely slanted face 22 (on state), an entirely upward facing face 20 (off state), or a combination of slanted face and upward facing face 28a, 28b (intermediate state). The relative brightness of an intermediate state is proportional to the area of slanted face. In the example shown, configuration 28a is less bright than configuration 28b. Each region 1 can be selected from a finite set of on, off, and intermediate states. It is understood that brightness refers to the relative brightness between different states. Allowing for more than two possible states allows for grey-scale images to be created, each grey scale image associated with a viewing direction 1 .
[00833 Referring to Figure 12, the angled faces 22 can include diffraction gratings 30. In a particular embodiment, the angled faces 22 include zero-order diffraction gratings 30, where the grating spacing of the grating elements 32 of the diffraction grating 30 is sufficiently small to remove first and higher order diffraction peaks. This can be achieved by having a grating spacing less than the wavelength of the incident light. An example grating spacing is 200 microns. Zero-order diffraction gratings 30 can be tuned, through selection of materials and grating spacing, to appear as particular colours at particular angles. In this way, the On' regions can appear coloured, which can advantageously provide a more interesting visual effect. An extension of this embodtment is incorporating different coloured gratings, such that full colour imagery can be produced. [0084] It is understood however that the regions 12 and optical elements 10 are arranged such that the structures associated with each region 12 do not combine to create a diffractive effect.
[0085] Further modifications and improvements may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, further security features can be incorporated onto the upward facing faces of the off regions, such as, for example, DOE based security features, holograms, and/or printed images. Also, it is envisaged the regions 12 can correspond to structures projecting partially into the substrate 8, and partially from the substrate 8, or, alternatively, structures entirely projecting into the substrate 8,

Claims

THE CLAIMS DEFINING THE INVENTION ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1. An optical device, preferably a security device, including: a substrate which defines a plane; and a plurality of optica! elements corresponding to structures projecting from and/or into the substrate, wherein the plurality of optical elements are configured to provide three or more different images, each image associated with a unique viewing direction such that each image does not interfere, or at most minimally interferes, with another image when viewed from a particular viewing position when the optical device is rotated about a rotational axis projecting from the plane.
2. An optical device as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the rotation axis projects perpendicularly from the plane.
3. An optical device as claimed in claim 1 , including four identifiable images, and preferably wherein the vtewing directions are arranged at 90 degree intervals about the rotational axis.
4. An optical device as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the structures project from the substrate or wherein the structures project into the substrate or wherein the structures project partially into the substrate and partially from the substrate.
5. An optical device as claimed in claim 1 , wherein for each image, each optical element includes a region associated with the image, wherein each region is structured to determine the appearance of the optical element when viewed from a viewing direction associated with the region.
6. An optical device as claimed in claim 5, wherein each region is configured to appear as one of: an off state; and an on state, when viewed from the viewing direction associated with the region, preferably wherein the on state corresponds to a structure including an angled face, angled with respect to the plane, wherein the normal of the angled face is substantially parallel to the viewing direction associated with the region, and preferably wherein the off state corresponds to a structure including a face substantially parallel to the plane.
7. An optical device as claimed in claim 5, wherein each region is configured to appear in one of three or more states, when viewed from the viewing direction associated with the region, each state having a different associated brightness, optionaily wherein one of the states corresponds to an off state, one of the states corresponds to an on state, and the remaining one or more states correspond to intermediate states, preferably wherein the on state corresponds to a structure including an angled face, angled with respect to the plane, wherein the normal of the angled face is substantiall parallel to the viewing direction associated with the region, and the off state corresponds to a structure including a face substantially parallel to the plane, and the, or each, intermediate state includes both an angled face and a parallel face.
8. An optical device as claimed in claim 7, wherein there are two or more intermediate states, and wherein each intermediate state has an associated brightness, wherein a ratio of the area of angled face to parallel face of each intermediate state determines the associated brightness.
9. An optical device as claimed in claim 6 or claim 7, wherein each structure including an angled face includes a diffraction grating formed on the angied face, preferably the diffraction grating of each angled face is a zero-order diffraction grating.
10. An optical device as claimed in claim 5, wherein each region has a first side with length less than 250 microns, preferably between 30 and 60 microns, and a second side with length less than 250 microns, preferably between 30 and 60 microns, and/or wherein the size of each region is sufficiently large to allow for coloured ink to be printed in register to each region, such that each that each region is associated with a colour.
1 1 . An optical device as claimed in claim 5 or claim 10, wherein each region is square-shaped in plan view.
12. An optica! device as claimed in claim 1 , configured as a reflective optical device or configured as a transmissive optical device.
13. An optical device as claimed in claim 1 , wherein the optical elements are formed from an embossed radiation curable ink.
14. An optical device as claimed in any one of the previous claims, wherein the optical elements are arranged in a grid.
15. A security document including an optical device as claimed in any one of the previous claims, wherein the security document is preferabiy a banknote, and preferabiy further including at least one further security feature.
16. A method for manufacturing an optical element according to claim 1 , including the steps of:
- applying a radiation curable ink to a surface of a substrate;
- embossing the radiation curable ink using an embossing tool, the embossing tool configured for forming a structure in the radiation curable ink corresponding to the optica! element; and
- curing the radiation curable ink.
17. A method for manufacturing a security document, preferabiy a banknote, the security document including a substrate, the method including the step of:
- in a region of a first surface of the substrate, forming an optical device according to the method of claim 16.
18. A method as claimed in claim 17, wherein the substrate is a transparent or translucent substrate, and further including the step of applying a first opacifying layer to the first surface of the substrate, the first opacifying layer including a window region corresponding, in location, to the optical element and optionatly further including the step of applying a second opacifying layer, preferably including a window region corresponding, in location, to the optical element, to a second surface of the substrate, opposite the first surface.
PCT/AU2014/050201 2013-09-02 2014-08-29 Multichannel optical device WO2015027294A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

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AU2013101172A AU2013101172B4 (en) 2013-09-02 2013-09-02 Multichannel optical device
AU2013903341A AU2013903341A0 (en) 2013-09-02 Multichannel optical device
AU2013101172 2013-09-02

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