(Futurism.com) An extremely powerful microscope will enable the viewer to see minuscule defects that alter the flow of electricity in a transistor. This phenomenon could someday be exploited to give each piece of hardware a unique “quantum fingerprint” based on its randomly-distributed defects.
Researchers at RIKEN in Japan have been investigating how these quantum fingerprints might one day be used as an inexpensive form of ID to protect users’ personal information for technologies in the emerging network of internet-connected devices. There’s a lot that needs to happen before these tiny fabrication errors could be used to identify devices. Perhaps most significantly, it’s way easier to detect the single-electron effect at temperatures near absolute zero.
In the future, the physicists plan to explore other ways of fingerprinting transistors. One possibility is to measure the spin-qubit behaviors of electrons in traps, as these quantum behaviors are expected to be affected by the traps.

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