Interdisciplinary Collaboration Grants

The Division of Research established the Interdisciplinary Collaboration Grants (ICG) Program to provide funds to facilitate the development of collaborations at Binghamton University. This program is for investigators who seek to enhance their research opportunities through collaboration and may include projects that represent a new research agenda. Proposals from all areas of scholarship are encouraged.

One project received funding in the program's 2023-2024 round of awards:

"Physical Unclonable Functions Built Using Electrospray Printing"

Principal Investigators and Departments: 

Paul Chiarot (Mechanical Engineering) and J. David Shaffer (Institute for Justice and Well Being) 

Counterfeit products have enormous economic, security, and health implications. Therefore, a simple and low-cost approach to authentic a physical product is required. Our proposed solution uses Physical Unclonable Functions (PUFs), which are objects with a unique microstructure that are formed by a random or stochastic process. The objective of this proposal is to build and implement PUFs using electrospray printing and image processing. PUFs can act as a fingerprint for a physical device and can serve as a physical (rather than digital) random function. This will support applications in anticounterfeiting, authentication, and product identification. PUFs have previously been used in semiconductors, where random variations in the manufacturing process are leveraged to create a unique identifier for an integrated circuit. Our goal is to extend the capabilities of PUFs to any physical system requiring authentication and identification, including electronics, pharmaceuticals, currency, and other sensitive products. We will discover the optimal electrospray printing conditions for building PUFs and will design an image processing algorithm that can reliably challenge the PUF and authenticate the physical product. The interdisciplinary nature of this work offers a great learning opportunity for students and will support the defense and health care industries.