A colorless, odorless, quick-drying ink that is fluorescent only in the presence of ultraviolet light was discovered at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil.
The product was developed in an unusual manner: A chemistry professor and his students were doing research on a snakebite serum more resistent to high temperatures and ended up discovering the formula of a shiny blue liquid.
For UFRJ chemistry professor, Cláudio Lopes, this ink will be an important ally in the preservation of the country’s patrimony and of personal possessions, such as works of art, documents, books, and CDs, and it can also help the police identify stolen money.
“Other countries besides Brazil have problems when it comes to the preservation of their patrimony. More and more, we need to have security in what we produce, to avoid theft and loss.
“By marking a valuable object with invisible ink, you certify that this material is really yours, because under ultraviolet light you can visibly detect your mark or your company’s brand,” he explains.
Lopes also informed that, because it is not toxic, the ink can also be used to brand animals in expositions without any damage to their health.
“I have already conducted successful tests branding the ears of cattle without causing harm to any of these animals,” he affirms.
The ink has already been patented by the UFRJ and registered with the National Institute of Industrial Property.
Professor Lopes, who made the discovery, said that, when the ink is produced on an industrial scale, anybody will be able to buy a pen for about US$ 6.
Translator: David Silberstein