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Engineered Nano-Signature (ENS): A Novel Authentication Technology (Internal Project 2013)

Project Description:
The increasing proliferation of counterfeit electronic components threatens both commercial and military systems in the areas of product performance, reliability and dependability. They are of great concern because of (i) the negative impact that they can have on innovation, (ii) the threat they pose to the welfare of consumers, and (iii) the substantial resources that might be channeled to criminal and other networks. The development and demonstration of different counterfeit detection technologies extending from optical inspection to rather sophisticated x-ray imaging have been able to identify certain sets of counterfeit defects. These techniques are yet to be consolidated such that counterfeit identifications are conclusive and without any false positives. Different counterfeit identification schemes such as DNA, Nanotag, RFID, PUF provides solutions but do not offer a comprehensive solution. Counterfeit detection still has much intrinsic subjectivity, and thus the confidence level of the associated results is lacking. Technologies such as DNA and RFID though provide excellent authentication accuracy are slow in authentication of counterfeit electronic components as well as are prone to imitation.  Nanotags do not suffer from the same limitations but slows down the process time and are expensive. The challenge is to be able to incorporate counterfeit identification signatures in COTS electronic components alleviating the requirement of a suite of expensive and time consuming counterfeit detection schemes. The Engineered Nanostructures (ENS) utilizing some unique optical properties of tailored nano-structures does not suffer from the detrimental attributes of any one of these technologies and offers an inexpensive but reliable technology to ensure authenticity of electronic components. Engineered submicron features modifying some of the physical properties of the IC capping material are being proposed as a tool for the identification of counterfeit ICs. The submicron signature invisible to the naked eye but visible under high magnification optical microscopes (>x1000) modify the optical properties of the capping material and detected by using inexpensive and fast optical probing such as shining a laser pointer on the surface of the IC.

Project Duration:
Oct. 1, 2013 – Oct. 1, 2015

Deliverables:
Year 1 (Due Oct. 1, 2014):
Incorporation of ENS using a direct write on the IC capping layer without using any metal layers (months: 0-12).
Variation of ENS array size and introducing randomness in patterns dimensions to make signatures unique (months: 3-15)

Year 2 (Due Oct. 1, 2015):
Code patterns using generated random numbers followed by simple optical decoding (months 9-18)
Investigate simple, inexpensive and fast (few seconds) nano-indenting technology to transfer ENS to IC capping layers (months 18-36).

Principal Investigators:
Prof. M. Anwar. Professor, ECE Department, UCONN

Student(s):
Anas Mazady, PhD Student, ECE Department, UCONN
Abdiel Rivera, PhD Student, ECE Department, UCONN

Presentations:

Publications:

Reports:

 

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