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Issue 6, 2018
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Nanoscale diffusive memristor crossbars as physical unclonable functions

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Physical unclonable functions have emerged as promising hardware security primitives for device authentication and key generation in the era of the Internet of Things. Herein, we report novel physical unclonable functions built upon the crossbars of nanoscale diffusive memristors that translate the stochastic distribution of Ag clusters in a SiO2 matrix into a random binary bitmap that serves as a device fingerprint. The random dispersion of Ag led to an uneven number of clusters at each cross-point, which in turn resulted in a stochastic ability to switch in the Ag:SiO2 diffusive memristors in an array. The randomness of the dispersion was a barrier to fingerprint cloning and the unique fingerprints of each device were persistent after fabrication. Using an optimized fabrication procedure, we maximized the randomness and achieved an inter-class Hamming distance of 50.68%. We also discovered that the bits were not flipping after over 104 s at 400 K, suggesting superior reliability of our physical unclonable functions. In addition, our diffusive memristor-based physical unclonable functions were easy to fabricate and did not require complicated post-processing for digitization and thus, provide new opportunities in hardware security applications.

Graphical abstract: Nanoscale diffusive memristor crossbars as physical unclonable functions

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Sep 2017, accepted on 10 Jan 2018 and first published on 11 Jan 2018

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06561B
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 2721-2726
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    Nanoscale diffusive memristor crossbars as physical unclonable functions

    R. Zhang, H. Jiang, Z. R. Wang, P. Lin, Y. Zhuo, D. Holcomb, D. H. Zhang, J. J. Yang and Q. Xia, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 2721
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR06561B

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