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  • 2018AstburyMRes

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Strong physical uncloneable functions using arrays of resonant tunnelling diodes

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

Publication date2018
Number of pages79
QualificationMasters by Research
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In a modern world, where the malicious attacks of interconnected devices rises stemming from increased adoption of such systems. Security of these systems have repeatedly been bypassed, as such requiring secure validation through truly unique responses to an authentication request which cannot be impersonated. A resonant tunnelling diode has been shown useful by having a single unique and uncloneable response. The electrically driven device outputs a signature unique to the individual device which is uncloneable even by the manufacturer. The purpose of this work is to expand the range of responses of an individual authentication system using resonant tunnelling diodes.
The combination of resonant tunnelling diodes show a response unique to the base devices with multiple points of authentication. By creating an array structure where devices can be combined in different permutations, the set of responses can be increased. Varying the array’s design can maximise the set of response to scale exponentially with the number of devices. The possibility of predicting a set of responses is explored through the initial measurement of base array devices. The risk is explored through the ability to deconvolute array responses into single device signatures and creation of subsequent array responses.
A designed and implemented 4x4, 16 device array with 256 responses is shown to have 99% uniqueness for each 4-peak permutation with a ~20% chance that any single peak will give a false negative response when compared with the expected output. The combination of devices is shown to be random in nature with how the device’s signature shift when a second device is applied. The resultant system is given as a design for secure alternative to the current widely used authentication systems in small electronic devices. With such a system in place, security of information and devices can be significantly increased.