Organization: Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI)
Year: 2016

mPaint is ITRI’s technology to effectively mark the surface of metallic objects—markings of text, pattern, or both. mPaint uses laser pulses to apply controlled energy to the spot on the surface of the target metal object where the marking is desired.  The laser effectively oxidizes the known element (or elements) on and within a shallow depth of the surface of the metallic object, normally an alloy of some kind.  With proper control, the element becomes oxidized by the energy delivered by the laser and the color of the object changes accordingly. By precision setting of different specific working parameters of the lasers, temperature and burning power at the spot on the target surface of the metal object can be controlled. The technology can selectively oxidize specific elements on the surface and down to a depth of a few atoms where the lasers are directed.