In this work, the novel usage of a physically unclonable function composed of a network of Mach-Zehnder interferometers for authentication tasks is described. The physically unclonable function hardware is completely reconfigurable, allowing for a large number of seemingly independent devices to be utilized, thus imitating a large array of single-response physically unclonable functions. It is proposed that any reconfigurable array of Mach-Zehnder interferometers can be used as an authentication mechanism, not only for physical objects, but for information transmitted both classically and quantumly. The proposed use-case for a fully-optical physically unclonable function, designed with reconfigurable hardware, is to authenticate messages between a trusted and possibly untrusted party; verifying that the messages received are generated by the holder of the authentic device.
This document was originally published in OSA Continuum by OSA Publishing. Copyright restrictions may apply. https://doi.org/10.1364/OSAC.399294
Jacinto, H. Shelton; Smith, A. Matthew; and Rafla, Nader I.. (2021). "Utilizing a Fully Optical and Reconfigurable PUF as a Quantum Authentication Mechanism". OSA Continuum, 4(2), 739-747. https://doi.org/10.1364/OSAC.399294