Optical Thin Film Technology

Nanotech’s Optical Thin Film (OTF) is a form of colour shift technology. Colour shift film has been the standard for document security for over two decades, and for good reason: it’s very difficult to reproduce or simulate, yet very simple to use. It is also one of the most durable overt security features, with little to no losses in its characteristic when crumpled.


1. Optical Thin Film has 3 layers that light filters through

When viewing directly, the light that is filtered back through the 3 layers produces a magenta colour.


2. OTF is tilted and light is filtered back at an angle

When the OTF is tilted and viewed at an angle, the light that is filtered back produces a second colour; in this example the colour green.


3. Colour Shift Appears

A sharp, bright colour shift is produced as the eye sees the first colour shift into the second colour.


Easy Element 1 overt authentication

OTF images are ultra-high resolution and can be viewed from long distances. These images distinctly turn ON and OFF.

Demands attention

The distinct look encourages investigation and is great in variable light conditions and at a distance.

Multiple elements of security on 1 image

Any OTF image can contain overt, covert or forensic levels of security all in a single, thin feature.

Ultra high definition

>500,000 DPI and 50,000 PPI produces both large and small images that are detailed and crisp.

Difficult to counterfeit

The patented origination process makes OTF images virtually impossible to replicate or reverse engineer.


OTF images can be applied on a wide range of materials ranging from metals, plastics, acrylic, cloth or paper substrates and more.

Environmentally conscious

OTF images are comprised purely of nanoscale holes – no dyes or pigments are involved.


Grey ghosting creates a colour pop effect when light reflects with a simple bend or tilt.



A well proven, high security optical thin film security device with nanometer thick layers designed to have precise colour replay depending on the angle of view.


Why Choose OTF Technology as an Anti-Counterfeiting Technique?

Hard to make = hard to counterfeit

OTF is very difficult to simulate. In addition to extremely expensive production equipment, the technology is not easy to manufacture and requires deep specialized knowledge.


OTF has excellent compatibility for longer-lasting banknote substrates as its characteristics experience little to no losses with wear and tear to the paper or polymer.

Mature, proven technology

OTF has been around for 26 years, originally developed with the National Research Council of Canada to combat the threat of colour copiers in the early 1980s.

Did you know?

OTF technology was first used in Bank of Canada $20, $50, $100 and $1,000 denominations in the Birds of Canada series (’88-’93).

Add Another Layer of Security

Our product platforms can be used in any combination—add these additional
features to your custom security stack.

KolourOptik Technology

KolourOptik Technology

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Integrate OTF technology into your secure document