Design and visualization of synthetic holograms for security applications

Marek Skeren
Czech Technical University, Czech Republic

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Today, the synthetic holograms are widely used in optical document security, where various visual effects are utilized for evaluation of originality of the security element. The security function is based on a very fine micro-structure with details of order of hundreds of nanometres. It diffracts the light and creates macroscopic visual effects. Very important property of this kind of elements is ability of common observer to check the originality of the element without any sophisticated knowledge of the optical principles and usually also without any additional tools. Thus the visual design of the element plays an important role not only from an artistic point of view, but also from a point of view of security function of the element. When the designed element contains many different visual effects, it is difficult for the designer to imagine the complex behavior of the hologram. Moreover, it is almost impossible to present the hologram properties to most customers, who are not familiar with the holography at all.

In this paper we present our developed software for design and visualization of holographic elements containing full scale of visual effects. It enables to simulate observation of holographic elements under general conditions including different light sources with various spectral and coherence properties and various geometries of reconstruction. Furthermore, recent technologies offer interesting possibilities for 3D visualization such as 3D techniques based on shutter or polarization glasses, etc. The presented software is compatible with the mentioned techniques and enables application of 3D hardware tools. The software package can be used not only for visualization of existing designs, but also for fine tuning of spatial, kinetic, and color properties of the hologram. Moreover, holograms containing all types of 3D effects, general color mixing, kinetic behavior, diffractive cryptograms, etc. can be translated directly to a high resolution micro-structure.

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