General Information

SECTAGO offers copy-proof, optically attractive security features under the trade mark AgilLite®. Their origination is based on a unique combination of high-resolution surface structuring with non-commercial materials and innovative computer software.  

Key Technology  Facts

• One of a kind mask-less process used for mastering of diffractive OVD (Optically Variable Device) originations 

• Wide pitch range from < 300 nm to > 5,000 nm at varying aspect ratios applicable within every individual origination master 

• 1D/2D nano- & micro-gratings with widely adjustable parameter sets regarding:
– grating size and shape
– grating contour
– periodicity
– grating depth
– grating width
– grating vector 

• Ultra-high precision in optical & mechanical control of mastering process by use of unique, proprietary mastering equipment 

• Exclusive access to and usage of non-commercial grey tone photo-resist 

• Proprietary software for design and mastering of grating structures 

• Wide choice of customized designs achievable 

• Conventional, cost competitive process chain starting from SECTAGO's OVD originations (resist masters):
– nickel shim from resist master by electroforming process
– recombination by step-and-repeat process
– conventional machine tooling
– roll-to-roll production by UV-casting or embossing methods

SEM System
SEM picture of 1D-nanograting generated by SECTAGO‘s proprietary mastering process (SEM System: Zeiss Supra 35)

 
SEM TopView
top view micrograph of an AgilLite™ nano-gratings matrix at 2,000 times magnification (SEM System: Zeiss Supra 35); pixel size: 10 x 10 µm (i.e. 1 million pixels for a 10 x 10 mm feature size)

Properties


The AgilLite®  technology gives access to innovative security features of so-called "first level inspection" and is reserved to their application on high security documents, such as id-documents or banknotes. It is based on up to more than 1 million individually created diffraction gratings per centimeter square. The individual gratings are arranged in such a way that a largely arbitrary motif is composed and projected to the observation sphere. General application of AgilLite® is in the form of a foil feature which is generated from an origination which is exclusively created by SECTAGO according to customized design and at compliance with highest security standards.

Optical Characteristics:
  • Unique, foil-based security feature to be authenticated by the naked eye w/o any verification tool (first-level inspection)
  • Brilliant-white appearance; no hologram-typical rainbow colors or pastel shades
  • High mobility and remarkable 3D-effect when device (or light source, respectively) is tilted and/or rotated
  • Uniform movement of device results in continuous motion of the feature‘s motif (no discrete jumps as observed in most conventional DOVIDs)
  • Feature's application rendered feasible in reflective or  transmissive viewing
  • Wide operating angle of more than ±60 degrees achievable
  • Optical appearance easy to communicate to untrained “people in the street”; reliable authentication
  • Clearly distinguishable from competitive features
Mechanical / Technical Properties:
  • Thin foil feature; its thickness of just few microns makes it well suitable for most applications, e. g. as patches, stripes, threads, laminates, or on cards
  • Suitable for application onto various substrates (polymer, paper, metal, composites etc.), including transfer foils
  • Integration of machine readable features feasible
  • Combination with conventional features and/or technologies feasible (holograms, effect pigments, HRI materials, OTF reflectors, de-metallization techniques, etc.)
  • Highly secure due to well controlled proprietary process & materials with regard to origination mastering

Operating Principle


  

Animated sketch of the operating principle of AgilLite®   to generate an optically variable image
under changing (here: discrete) observation angles


The +1st and/or -1st diffractive orders of an arbitrary motif (e.g. number, character, graphics, logo) become visible upon illumination of the
AgilLite® device. While point light sources generally create best images there are no special requirements on the kind of light source: natural sun light, artificial room lighting, torches, flash lights of cell phones and others are well suitable.

The number of visible motifs is a function of the number of light sources which are simultaneously applied: While exactly one point light source generates exactly one complete set of motifs the simultaneous illumination by "n" numbers of light sources leads to the n-fold display of motifs. Poorly defined light sources (indirect room lighting, aerial light sources in close distance to the device) usually result in displaying a multiplicity of motifs with less well defined local co-ordinates. 

Continuous motion of the motif (or several motifs, respectively) is observed when the device is uniformly tilted and/or rotated. Speed and pattern of such motion could be modified within a high degree of freedom. Also, a significant perspective viewing (3D-) effect can be created with minimum two motifs, which result from +1st and -1st diffraction pattern, being realized in front of and behind the picture plane, respectively.

An observer of the   AgilLite® feature realizes continuous motion of the motif similar to marketed security devices which are e.g. based on micro mirrors or precise positioning of optical lenses over printed graphical elements.


Modification of the image creating parameter set allows display of different number  of motifs (1 bis n; n ̴ 2 to 20) with significantly varying motion profiles which become visible by tilt and/or rotation of the device and/or the light source:

  • The standard version of the feature appears with two identical motifs, corresponding to +1st  or -1st diffractive orders, which commonly rotate around a virtual center point
  • Suppression of one diffractive +1st  or -1st order results in creation of one single motif, only +1st and -1st diffractive orders of different motifs can be combined in such a way that two or more different motifs will be displayed
  • All versions of circular rotation around a virtual center point can be transformed to elliptical or longitudinal motion
  • The relation between tilt angle (or rotation angle, respectively) and the corresponding motion of the motif is adjustable; i.e. combination of large shift of local co-ordinates at small tilt or rotation results in high speed of the motif's motion (and vice versa)
  • Numbers, characters und contoured graphical elements yield best results in form of clear, crisp images with remarkable optical depth (3D viewing)
  • Optical resolution of the motif can be largely chosen determining its appearance: 
    low resolution → rough with „sparkling“ effect 
    high resolution → smoothening

The video sequence of a computed simulation demonstrates the optical effect of AgilLite® exemplary by way of the combination of two different motifs, namely a "contoured star" and a "contoured cross". At chosen magnification, the generation of the motifs by individual mobile light points can be recognized. The perspective view of the two motifs (3D effect) is suppressed in this simulation due to non-consideration of higher diffractive orders.