Advanced Data Encryption ​using 2D Materials

Chao Wen, Xuehua Li, Tommaso Zanotti, Francesco Maria Puglisi, Yuanyuan Shi, Fernan Saiz, Aleandro Antidormi, Stephan Roche, Wenwen Zheng, Xianhu Liang, Jiaxin Hu, Steffen Duhm, Juan B. Roldan, Tianru Wu, Victoria Chen, Eric Pop, Blas Garrido, Kaichen Zhu, Fei Hui, Mario Lanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Advanced data encryption requires the use of true random number generators (TRNGs) to produce unpredictable sequences of bits. TRNG circuits with high degree of randomness and low power consumption may be fabricated by using the random telegraph noise (RTN) current signals produced by polarized metal/insulator/metal (MIM) devices as entropy source. However, the RTN signals produced by MIM devices made of traditional insulators, i.e., transition metal oxides like HfO2 and Al2 O3 , are not stable enough due to the formation and lateral expansion of defect clusters, resulting in undesired current fluctuations and the disappearance of the RTN effect. Here, the fabrication of highly stable TRNG circuits with low power consumption, high degree of randomness (even for a long string of 224  - 1 bits), and high throughput of 1 Mbit s-1 by using MIM devices made of multilayer hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is shown. Their application is also demonstrated to produce one-time passwords, which is ideal for the internet-of-everything. The superior stability of the h-BN-based TRNG is related to the presence of few-atoms-wide defects embedded within the layered and crystalline structure of the h-BN stack, which produces a confinement effect that avoids their lateral expansion and results in stable operation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2100185
JournalAdvanced Materials
StatePublished - May 27 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


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