Ultrafast cryptography with indefinitely switchable optical nanoantennas

Pujuan Ma, Lei Gao, Pavel Ginzburg, Roman E. Noskov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bistability is widely exploited to demonstrate all-optical signal processing and light-based computing. The standard paradigm of switching between two steady states corresponding to “0” and “1” bits is based on the rule that a transition occurs when the signal pulse intensity overcomes the bistability threshold, and otherwise, the system remains in the initial state. Here, we break with this concept by revealing the phenomenon of indefinite switching in which the eventual steady state of a resonant bistable system is transformed into a nontrivial function of signal pulse parameters for moderately intense signal pulses. The essential nonlinearity of the indefinite switching allows realization of well-protected cryptographic algorithms with a single bistable element in contrast to software-assisted cryptographic protocols that require thousands of logic gates. As a proof of concept, we demonstrate stream deciphering of the word “enigma” by means of an indefinitely switchable optical nanoantenna. An extremely high bitrate ranging from ~0.1 to 1 terabits per second and a small size make such systems promising as basic elements for all-optical cryptographic architectures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
JournalLight: Science and Applications
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

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