Organic Light-Emitting Physically Unclonable Functions
Kiremitler, N. Burak
Onses, M. Serdar
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The development of novel physically unclonable functions (PUFs) is of growing interest and fluorescent organic semiconductors (f-OSCs) offer unique advantages of structural versatility, solution-processability, ease of processing, and great tuning ability of their physicochemical/optoelectronic/spectroscopic properties. The design and ambient atmosphere facile fabrication of a unique organic light-emitting physically unclonable function (OLE-PUF) based on a green-emissive fluorescent oligo(p-phenyleneethynylene) molecule is reported. The OLE-PUFs have been prepared by one-step, brief (5 min) thermal annealing of spin-coated nanoscopic films (approximate to 40 nm) at a modest temperature (170 degrees C), which results in efficient surface dewetting to form randomly positioned/sized hemispherical features with bright fluorescence. The random positioning of molecular domains generated the unclonable surface with excellent uniformity (0.50), uniqueness (0.49), and randomness (p > 0.01); whereas the distinctive photophysical and structural properties of the molecule created the additional security layers (fluorescence profile, excited-state decay dynamics, Raman mapping/spectrum, and infrared spectrum) for multiplex encoding. The OLE-PUFs on substrates of varying chemical structures, surface energies and flexibility, and direct deposition on goods via drop-casting are demonstrated. The OLE-PUFs immersed in water, exposed to mechanical abrasion, and read-out repeatedly via fluorescence imaging showed great stability. These findings clearly demonstrate that rationally engineered solution-processable f-OSCs have a great potential to become a key player in the development of new-generation PUFs.