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Using quantum confinement to uniquely identify devices

Using quantum confinement to uniquely identify devices
Using quantum confinement to uniquely identify devices

Modern technology unintentionally provides resources that enable the trust of everyday interactions to be undermined. Some authentication schemes address this issue using devices that give a unique output in response to a challenge. These signatures are generated by hard-to-predict physical responses derived from structural characteristics, which lend themselves to two different architectures, known as unique objects (UNOs) and physically unclonable functions (PUFs). The classical design of UNOs and PUFs limits their size and, in some cases, their security. Here we show that quantum confinement lends itself to the provision of unique identities at the nanoscale, by using fluctuations in tunnelling measurements through quantum wells in resonant tunnelling diodes (RTDs). This provides an uncomplicated measurement of identity without conventional resource limitations whilst providing robust security. The confined energy levels are highly sensitive to the specific nanostructure within each RTD, resulting in a distinct tunnelling spectrum for every device, as they contain a unique and unpredictable structure that is presently impossible to clone. This new class of authentication device operates with minimal resources in simple electronic structures above room temperature.

2045-2322
1-8
Roberts, J.
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Bagci, I.E.
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Zawawi, M.A.M.
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Sexton, J.
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Hulbert, N.
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Noori, Y.J.
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Young, M.P.
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Woodhead, C.S.
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Missous, M.
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Migliorato, M.A.
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Roedig, U.
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Young, R.J.
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Roberts, J.
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Bagci, I.E.
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Zawawi, M.A.M.
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Sexton, J.
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Hulbert, N.
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Noori, Y.J.
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Young, M.P.
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Woodhead, C.S.
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Missous, M.
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Migliorato, M.A.
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Roedig, U.
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Young, R.J.
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Roberts, J., Bagci, I.E., Zawawi, M.A.M., Sexton, J., Hulbert, N., Noori, Y.J., Young, M.P., Woodhead, C.S., Missous, M., Migliorato, M.A., Roedig, U. and Young, R.J. (2015) Using quantum confinement to uniquely identify devices. Scientific Reports, 5, 1-8. (doi:10.1038/srep16456).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Modern technology unintentionally provides resources that enable the trust of everyday interactions to be undermined. Some authentication schemes address this issue using devices that give a unique output in response to a challenge. These signatures are generated by hard-to-predict physical responses derived from structural characteristics, which lend themselves to two different architectures, known as unique objects (UNOs) and physically unclonable functions (PUFs). The classical design of UNOs and PUFs limits their size and, in some cases, their security. Here we show that quantum confinement lends itself to the provision of unique identities at the nanoscale, by using fluctuations in tunnelling measurements through quantum wells in resonant tunnelling diodes (RTDs). This provides an uncomplicated measurement of identity without conventional resource limitations whilst providing robust security. The confined energy levels are highly sensitive to the specific nanostructure within each RTD, resulting in a distinct tunnelling spectrum for every device, as they contain a unique and unpredictable structure that is presently impossible to clone. This new class of authentication device operates with minimal resources in simple electronic structures above room temperature.

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Accepted/In Press date: 14 October 2015
Published date: 10 November 2015

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 425669
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/425669
ISSN: 2045-2322
PURE UUID: 67ca9b0c-5734-4d9f-bf65-190bb47bb20a
ORCID for Y.J. Noori: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5285-8779

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Date deposited: 31 Oct 2018 17:30
Last modified: 26 Nov 2019 01:23

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Contributors

Author: J. Roberts
Author: I.E. Bagci
Author: M.A.M. Zawawi
Author: J. Sexton
Author: N. Hulbert
Author: Y.J. Noori ORCID iD
Author: M.P. Young
Author: C.S. Woodhead
Author: M. Missous
Author: M.A. Migliorato
Author: U. Roedig
Author: R.J. Young

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