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Sub-surface characterisation of latest-generation identification documents using optical coherence tomography

Marques, M.J., Green, Robert, King, Roberto, Clement, Simon, Hallett, Peter, Podoleanu, Adrian G.H. (2020) Sub-surface characterisation of latest-generation identification documents using optical coherence tomography. Science and Justice, . ISSN 1355-0306. (doi:10.1016/j.scijus.2020.12.001) (KAR id:85229)


The identification of individuals, particularly at international border crossings, coupled with the evolving sophistication of identity documents are issues that authorities must contend with.

Particularly, the ability to distinguish legitimate from counterfeit documents, with high throughput, sensitivity, and selectivity is an ever-evolving challenge.

Over the last decade, an increasing number of security features have been introduced by authorities in identification documents. The latest generation of travel documents (such as

passports and national ID cards) forego paper substrates for several layers of polycarbonate, allowing security features to be embedded within the documents. These security features may

contain information at either the superficial and sub-surface levels, thus increasing the document’s resilience to counterfeiting.

As the documents become harder to forge, so does the sophistication of forgery detection. There appears to be an unmet and evolving need to identify such sophisticated forgeries, in a

non-destructive, high throughput manner.

In this publication, we report on the application of optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging on assessing security features in specimen passports and national ID cards. OCT

allows sub-surface imaging of translucent structures, non-destructively enabling quantitative visualisation of embedded security features.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.scijus.2020.12.001
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC355 Optics
Q Science > QC Physics > QC411 Interference
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Manuel Marques
Date Deposited: 29 Dec 2020 10:31 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2021 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Marques, M.J..

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Green, Robert.

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Podoleanu, Adrian G.H..

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