Inkjet-Printable Hydrochromic Paper for Encrypting Information and Anticounterfeiting

Varun Kumar Singh, Ramesh Kumar Chitumalla, Sai Kishore Ravi, Yaoxin Zhang, Yongjie Xi, Vijayvenkataramana Sanjairaj, Chun Zhang, Joonkyung Jang, Swee Ching Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developing rewritable papers has gathered immense interest in recent times in view of developing sustainability in print media without exhausting environmental resources. We herein present a rapid and facile procedure for the fabrication of a communication medium by treating the surface of a paper with synthetic organic molecules, after which plain water could be used as an ink to print and reprint numerous times on the treated paper before disposal. Interestingly, as the paper comes in contact with water, the molecules are driven to reorganize in a slip-stacked arrangement. This alters their ground and excited state properties by hydrogen-bond-assisted nonradiative decay, in which the associated changes are visible to the naked eye. The changes evolved are sensitive to the solubility parameter of the solvent and thermally reversible, thus linking the hydrochromic property to the paper. Against a background of concerns over a rise in counterfeiting and leaks of confidential information, prospects for encrypted communications and anticounterfeiting is herein demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33071-33079
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 27 2017


  • aggregation
  • anticounterfeiting
  • hydrochromic
  • rewritable
  • security printing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science


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