Leveraging carbon nanotube technologies in developing Physically Unclonable Function for cyber-physical system authentication

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



© 2016 IEEE. Cyber-physical system (CPS) research studies the interactions between the cyber components and the physical components of an integrated communication, computation and control system. It comprises the backbone of various critical infrastructures such as smart energy, transportation, and health care systems. Despite its wide popularity, significant security vulnerabilities exist in the prevailing CPSs. As there are many layers/components in a CPS which interact with each other frequently, it is desirable to leverage authenticated communications among them. This is why Physically Unclonable Function (PUF), which enables the challenge-response authentication scheme, has become popular. This paper proposes a new PUF design based on carbon nanotube (CNT) technologies. As fabrication induced variation manifest strongly in CNT based circuits, they are natural candidates for building highly secure PUFs. Our idea is to use a private key as the seed to generate a pseudo-random signal which will be decomposed into a set of secure pseudo-random basis using Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD). Subsequently, the proposed PUF design works as generating a signal according to a challenge and projecting it to the above secure pseudo-random basis, resulting in the PUF output response. Clearly, the saliency of our proposed secure pseudo-random EMD projection based CNT PUF design comes from the strong variations in CNT circuits and the secure pseudo-random EMD projection.

Publication Title

Proceedings - IEEE INFOCOM