Fluorescent Microparticle Technology

MTL has developed a number for methods for the production of fluorescent microparticles. These materials have the potential for use in a number of areas including counterfeit protection, substrate shift in environmental tracking studies and liquid flow analysis. Many opportunities for fluorescent particles are not currently being exploited fully due to the extremely high cost of polymer-based material. These dye-impregnated spheres are typically priced in the 10’s of thousands of dollars per kg. MTL has developed both hollow glass and porous silica-based fluorescent particles in an effort to provide a significantly cheaper alternative to polymer-based technologies and open up new markets for this type of particle. Porous silica offers the greatest potential in this area as is offers a much higher surface area for immobilisation of dye than the smooth surface of borosilicate spheres. It has been shown to be possible to produce this type of material for a few hundred dollars per kg using a novel, cyclic processing approach. Whether the fluorescence intensity and stability of the chemical linkages holding dye to particle are sufficient needs to be verified by a suitable third party, but the technology is one which can be extended, adapted or scaled relatively easily should commercial interest be identified.