The function of our optical quantum IDs is based upon atomic level imperfections changing how is light is generated from fluorescent nanomaterials. Unique optical signatures are generated from fluorescent nanocrystals. Using Image processing technologies, we can read quantum IDs with a mobile phone.
When a nanocrystal is illuminated with photons, for instance using a blue torch, photons are absorbed which excites electrons into higher orbits around atoms. These energetic electrons quickly return to equilibrium by losing some of this energy, and the nanocrystal emits light. Atomic scale imperfections change the arrangements, sizes and shapes of the nanocrystals, allowing us to generate unique optical signatures from the light emitted.
The final element of our exhibit is a fun quantum challenge!