Tattoo-Like Multi-Color Physically Unclonable Functions

N. Burak Kiremitler, Abidin Esidir, Gryphon A. Drake, Ahmet Faruk Yazici, Furkan Sahin, Ilker Torun, Mustafa Kalay, Yusuf Kelestemur, Hilmi Volkan Demir, Moonsub Shim, Evren Mutlugun, M. Serdar Onses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Advanced anti-counterfeiting and authentication approaches are in urgent need of the rapidly digitizing society. Physically unclonable functions (PUFs) attract significant attention as a new-generation security primitive. The challenge is design and generation of multi-color PUFs that can be universally applicable to objects of varied composition, geometry, and rigidity. Herein, tattoo-like multi-color fluorescent PUFs are proposed and demonstrated. Multi-channel optical responses are created by electrospraying of polymers that contain semiconductor nanocrystals with precisely defined photoluminescence. The universality of this approach enables the use of dot and dot-in-rod geometries with unique optical characteristics. The fabricated multi-color PUFs are then transferred to a target object by using a temporary tattoo approach. Digitized keys generated from the red, green and blue fluorescence channels facilitate large encoding capacity and rapid authentication. Feature matching algorithms complement the authentication by direct image comparison, effectively alleviating constraints associated with imaging conditions. The strategy that paves the way for the development of practical, cost-effective, and secure anticounterfeiting systems is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2302464
JournalAdvanced Optical Materials
Issue number12
StatePublished - Apr 24 2024


  • electrospraying
  • physically unclonable function
  • polymers
  • security labels
  • semiconductor nanocrystals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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