Increasing demands for optical anticounterfeiting technology require the
development of versatile luminescent materials with tunable photoluminescence
properties. Herein, a number of fluorescent carbon- and oxygen-doped
hexagonal boron nitride (denoted as BCNO) phosphors are found to offer a
such high-tech anticounterfeiting solution. These multicolor BCNO powders,
developed in a two-step process with controlled annealing and oxidation,
feature rod-like particle shape, with varied luminescence properties. Studies
of the optical properties of BCNO, along with other characterization, provide
insight into this underexplored material. Anticounterfeiting applications are
demonstrated with printed patterns which are indistinguishable to the naked
eye under visible light but become highly discernible under UV irradiation.
The fabricated patterns are demonstrated to be both chemically stable in
corrosive environments and physically robust in mechanical bending testing.
These properties render BCNO as promising and versatile anticounterfeiting
material a wide variety of environments.