Price tags, information tags, name tags, warning tags there are many kinds of tags. But all these are printed tags. Tags that are fixed and remain that way until destroyed. With the emergence of technology in every possible field of life and market, a new tag has come ahead. The invisible programmable tags.

What are the invisible programmable tags?

Basically, the invisible programmable tags are transparent plastic foils that store data. A team of physicists of TU Dresden has developed this new method of storing information. Also, the information in these tags is invisible and can be viewed in certain circumstances. The tags can also be reprogrammed to store new information after the use of previous is over.

The technology behind invisible tags

The invisible programmable tags are simple plastic foils that are thinner than the human hair. The plastic foils are of the thickness of 50 micrometers. The foil holds in itself organic luminescent molecules. The Organic luminescent molecules are in inactive dark state initially. This makes the tag transparent because whatever the matter is inside the foil is invisible.

The dark particles of organic luminescent molecules become active and glow when they come in contact with ultraviolet radiations. With the help of laser writing or mask, illumination nit is possible to print an activated pattern on the foil. This works on the same principles as a common laser printer. It is more or less the same as glow-in-the-dark stickers. The glowing of the foils reveals the information that it is concealing.

Technology for re-programming

Once a tag is programmed the information stays in it as long as it does not get exposed to infrared lights. Exposure to ultraviolet rays displays the hidden information and exposure to infrared light deletes the information it has been holding. The exposure to infrared light deletes the old information and new information can be written onto it.

The science behind this technology

The appearance and disappearance of the data is the game of oxygen. Oxygen is present in the plastic foils that hold the organic luminescent molecules. This oxygen steals the light from the glowing molecules making them invisible. The exposure to ultraviolet radiations removes oxygen molecules from the layer of plastic. Thus making it possible for the organic luminescent molecule to activate and emits light.

The infrared light has the opposite effect on the plastic foils. The infrared light raises the temperature of the foils. This increased temperature increases the oxygen permeability and eventually resulting in the refill of foil with oxygen.

Future scope

The manufacturing cost of these tags is much affordable. The tags can serve as barcodes, serial numbers or addresses. Not everyone needs this information but can be provided if someone demands to know. Also, the security of information can be maintained. Also, these tags can expand its scope from tags to store much more information that needs to be transported more securely and secretly.


The use of tags isn’t just the price of the material. It holds and might even hold a lot more valuable information that can be used in ways not suggested. The invisible programmable tags make it possible to also proved this information and at the same time keep it from the eyes of the thief. The research has opened a big and new field of research that will take things to a better and broader scope in the future.

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