Unclonable Networks for Identification using Cholesteric Emulsions (UNIQUE), PUL, 2015-2017

Interdisciplinary Research Group in Socio-technical Cybersecurity

Unclonable Networks for Identification using Cholesteric Emulsions
(UNIQUE)
PUL
2015 - 2017

Unclonable Networks for Identification using Cholesteric Emulsions (UNIQUE), PUL, 2015-2017

This strongly interdisciplinary project aims to solve a critical societal and commercial/industrial problem of object authentication by using a novel and promising approach to liquid crystal technology, involving microfluidic emulsification, polymerization, advanced optics, machine-based pattern analysis, computer simulations and novel security protocol development.

We live in an era where digital services are offered ubiquitously, with increasingly sensitive and valuable transactions being effectuated on-line. This creates an urgent need to uniquely and safely identify and authenticate persons and goods. At the same time we demand personal integrity and there is a strong – and well-founded – reluctance to allow authorities to register biometric data, challenging many approaches to ensure security and privacy. A promising approach to solving the problem is to introduce an artificial identity pattern (IDP) into the authentication chain. IDPs should be as unique as the fingerprint or iris of a person, unclonable, but allow production at low cost in enormous quantities without risking overlap between IDPs. They should be robust and easy to read out quickly and repeatedly for identification and authentication purposes. UNIQUE aims to develop such a pattern, using microfluidics to produce an emulsion of cholesteric liquid crystal shells in specific 2D arrangement. The spherically symmetric photonic crystal properties of cholesteric shells lead to an intricate pattern of brightly colored and circularly polarized reflections. The details depend sensitively on the arrangement and internal order of the shells, and spots can be turned on or off dynamically by modulating the area and/or wavelength of illumination. By combining the very different expertise of a soft matter physics/materials science group and an information and communication technology group specializing in security and trust issues, this strongly interdisciplinary project aims to solve a critical societal and commercial/industrial problem by using a novel and promising approach to liquid crystal technology, involving microfluidic emulsification, polymerization, advanced optics, machine-based pattern analysis, computer simulations and novel security protocol development.

Get in touch with us

SnT – Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust
29, Avenue J.F Kennedy L-1855 Luxembourg
info-irisc-lab@uni.lu