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SECTAGO Moves Forward with AgiLite.

Start-up company SECTAGO GmbH, based in Saarbruecken in Germany, recently gave further insight into its AgiLite[TM] technology, that is now used on two high-denomination banknotes of a leading currency, at the recent High Security Printing[TM] Latin America conference in Costa Rica.


Sectago was founded in 2013 by Frank Seils and Markus Koch. The company's primary focus is the development and out-licensing of innovative optical security technologies, predominantly for high-security document applications.

The company has developed proprietary origination technology based on a unique combination of high-resolution surface structuring with non-commercial materials and innovative computer software. The technology is based on a mask-less mastering process for diffractive OVD originations that utilises a non-commercial grey tone photoresist. Using proprietary software, nano--and micro-gratings are produced that can compose customisable, mobile images upon illumination.

A specific origination technology called AgiLite has been developed for 'first level inspection' features that are reserved for high-security documents such as ID documents and banknotes. AgiLite originations are composed from a very high number of precisely created, mutually interacting grating elements. Typically, a 10mm x 10mm patch size is comprised of up to 1 million individual grating tiles.

So how does AgiLite work?

The AgiLite feature is composed from a multiplicity of individual light points originating from pre-calculated gratings. Upon illumination two corresponding white images of the symbol become visible to the observer.

The working principle of AgiLite can be explained using a simplified group of tiles such as a 4 x 4 matrix. For every observation position within the observation sphere a group of matrix tiles composes the designed image from a huge number of individual light spots for each distinct observation position (1, 2, 3, ...). Upon illumination the diffraction gratings of the matrix project the light towards the observer to generate an image on an observation sphere.

All diffraction gratings of the entire matrix cooperate in such a way with each other, that a continuous change of the observation conditions (change in illumination and/or observation angles) results in continuous motion of the displayed image within the observation sphere with a wide viewing angle (> [+ or -] 60 degrees).

The AgiLite feature is highly flexible, enabling customisable designs that can include:

* Letters, numbers, and graphical elements at variable sizes;

* Motion speed and motion patterns including circular, vertical and horizontal movement of motifs.

In addition, for potential customers, a computer animation design preview of AgiLite is available. This enables a simulation to be viewed in either a static picture format at one distinct illumination angle, or a video simulation format at a range of different illumination and observation angles.

Optical benefits

The AgiLite technology has some unique optical characteristics that can be applied into various substrates, including transfer foils. Key optical characteristics are:

1. A bright-white appearance--no typical holographic rainbow colours or pastel shades are observed;

2. Continuous movement of the optical feature, with no discrete jumps as observed in most conventional diffractive optically variable image devices (DOVIDs);

3. A distinct 3D effect;

4. Transmission and/or reflection viewing;

5. A wide operating angle of more than +60 degrees.


AgiLite can be combined with other security features within a foil and is available in patch, stripe and thread formats. Fully metallised, precision demetallised and transparent versions are available, and the feature is suitable for both paper and polymer substrates. In addition, it can be used for transparent window applications.

No additional and/or special equipment or materials are needed for AgiLite, which can be produced using both UV cast and cure and thermal embossing processes. The technology is strictly limited to high-security applications

Future applications

Future applications include extending AgiLite to ID documents as a laminate foil that could be integrated into polycarbonate cards. Sectago is actively looking for partners to develop this option with.

Licenses are also available to stakeholders in the high-security print field and the supply of foils is restricted to licensed manufacturers only.

Caption: Scanning electron microscope picture of nanograting generated by SECTAGO's proprietary mastering process ISEM System: Zeiss Supra 35).

Caption: A micrograph of an AgilLite nano-gratings matrix at 2,000 times magnification; high variation of the gratings' pitches and vector angles; size of individual matrix tiles: 10 x10 [micro]m.

Caption: Left diagram: Simplified 4 x 4 matrix tiles. Right diagram: working principle at five discrete observation positions.

Caption: Banknote design showing the AgiLite stripe and the buildings of the Science Park in Saarbruecken where Sectago operates its labs.

Caption: Banknote design showing the AgiLite patch.

Caption: An example of AgiLite patch on an ID card.

Please Note: Illustration(s) are not available due to copyright restrictions.
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Publication:Holography News
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Jun 1, 2019
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