Electromagnetically unclonable functions generated by non-Hermitian absorber-emitter.

Minye Yang, Zhilu Ye, Hongyi Pan, Mohamed Farhat, Ahmet Enis Cetin, Pai-Yen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Physically unclonable functions (PUFs) are a class of hardware-specific security primitives based on secret keys extracted from integrated circuits, which can protect important information against cyberattacks and reverse engineering. Here, we put forward an emerging type of PUF in the electromagnetic domain by virtue of the self-dual absorber-emitter singularity that uniquely exists in the non-Hermitian parity-time (PT)-symmetric structures. At this self-dual singular point, the reconfigurable emissive and absorptive properties with order-of-magnitude differences in scattered power can respond sensitively to admittance or phase perturbations caused by, for example, manufacturing imperfectness. Consequently, the entropy sourced from inevitable manufacturing variations can be amplified, yielding excellent PUF security metrics in terms of randomness and uniqueness. We show that this electromagnetic PUF can be robust against machine learning-assisted attacks based on the Fourier regression and generative adversarial network. Moreover, the proposed PUF concept is wavelength-scalable in radio frequency, terahertz, infrared, and optical systems, paving a promising avenue toward applications of cryptography and encryption.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 8 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-09-11
Acknowledgements: A.E.C. acknowledges the financial support from Discovery Partners Institute, University of Illinois System. A.E.C. and P.-Y.C. would like to thank NSF ECCS-2229659 Grant for supporting this work.


Dive into the research topics of 'Electromagnetically unclonable functions generated by non-Hermitian absorber-emitter.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this