In this chapter we have reviewed the specialised area of micromanufacturing and nanotechnology as applied to the fabrication of optical security microstructures. In particular we have discussed in detail the specific area of optically variable devices and the advantages offered by the electron beam lithography method of manufacturing these devices. While the growth of development and adoption of foil based OVDs during the 1990's has certainly resulted in improved protection against counterfeiting, the need for more application specificity, particularly in the
ID document area, reduced costs in both origination and replication and the ongoing need to stay ahead of the counterfeiters as they attempt to undermine the latest developments, has led to a demand by security printers for more innovative technologies producing better differentiated optical effects, lower costs and better control on the availability of the underlying core technologies. In CSIRO we have responded to these industry challenges by initiating new research activities to develop biometric specific OVD microstructures as well as optical microstructures, which can be directly printed onto the security document without the costly intermediate foil phase. As the counterfeiters become better organised and more technically focussed we can expect security printers and their associated technology suppliers to become much more R&D focussed in meeting this evolving threat from the counterfeiters. Current thinking within the industry now accepts the need to upgrade document security on a regular five-year basis and therefore we can expect that micromanufacturing and nanotechnology R&D for document security will become a growing area.
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