We report an application of full-field optical coherence tomography (FF-OCT) for identifying counterfeit bank notes. The depth-resolved imaging capability of FF-OCT was used for tomographic identification of superficially-identical objects. By retrieving the internal structures of the security feature (cash hologram) of an original banknote, we could demonstrate the feasibility of FF-OCT to identify counterfeit money. The FF-OCT images showed that the hologram consisted of micron scale multi-coated layers including an air gap. Therefore, it is expected that FF-OCT has potential as a new non-invasive tool to discern imitation of currency, and it would find applications in a wide field of counterfeit sciences.

© 2010 Optical Society of Korea

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