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Physically secure and fully reconfigurable data storage using optical scattering

Horstmeyer, Roarke and Assawaworrarit, Sid and Ruhrmair, Ulrich and Yang, Changhuei (2015) Physically secure and fully reconfigurable data storage using optical scattering. In: 2015 IEEE International Symposium on Hardware Oriented Security and Trust (HOST). IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 157-162. ISBN 978-1-4673-7420-0.

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This paper presents an optical method of storing random cryptographic keys within a reconfigurable volume of polymer-dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC). We suggest a PDLC-based device that functions as an integrated optical physical unclonable function (PUF). Our device can selectively access a dense set (up to 10 Gb/mm^3 in theory) of non-electronically saved random bits. Furthermore, this optical PUF can fully erase and transform these bits into a new random configuration in less than one second, via a simple electrical signal. When a short voltage spike is applied across the PDLC film interface, its optical scattering potential completely decorrelates. We confirm this phenomenon with detailed experiments on a proof-of-concept device, thereby suggesting the security use of a new class of optical materials as (i) securely and efficiently reconfigurable PUFs, and (ii) an erasable storage medium for random cryptographic keys. Our work can eventually help address the challenge of quickly and completely erasing sensitive digital electronic memory and/or key material. It also establishes a new and hopefully fruitful connection between security questions and the material sciences.

Item Type:Book Section
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URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Horstmeyer, Roarke0000-0002-2480-9141
Yang, Changhuei0000-0001-8791-0354
Additional Information:© 2015 IEEE.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150720-103926731
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58944
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Jul 2015 21:06
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

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