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Using unique surface patterns of injection moulded plastic components as an image based Physical Unclonable Function for secure component identification

: Wigger, Benedikt; Meissner, Thomas; Förste, Alexander; Jetter, Volker; Zimmermann, André

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Scientific Reports 8 (2018), Art. 4738, 9 S.
ISSN: 2045-2322
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IPM ()
physical unclonable function; PUF; label-free tracking; component identification

A Physical Unclonable Function uses random and inherent properties of a physical entity and can be used to uniquely identify components e.g., for anti-counterfeiting purposes. In this work we demonstrate that the surface patterns of injection moulded plastic components themselves are inherently unique and hence can be used as a PUF for reliable and secure identification. We further demonstrate that these unique surface patterns are easily accessible since they can be photographed with a simple camera set-up. This is exemplarily demonstrated for two different plastic materials on an overall of 200 injection moulded components. A set of brief experiments further examines the PUF’s robustness towards real life conditions. This approach might be useful for secure identification and authentication of components or a label-free tracking.