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Boosting Security Using LCDs

March 18, 2015
Department of Electric and Electronic Engineering

If you observe liquid crystals with a special microscope called a polarizing microscope, you will see complex, random patterns that are governed by how the liquid crystal molecules line up. These random patterns in the liquid crystal elements make it impossible for the uniform control of light. This means these random patterns are a hindrance to developing LCD applications. That is why part of LCD production involves processing to prevent these types of patterns from developing. In the Optical Information and Optical Materials Laboratory, we are coming up with applications that take advantage of the fact that these random patterns are similar to a person's fingerprint. In the security field, people's fingerprints are used as a way to validate users' identity. In other words, these random liquid crystal patterns have the potential to be used to prevent the making of fake credit cards by having an LCD element embedded into the credit card as the user's unique signature.

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