With the uninterrupted revolution of communications technologies and the great-leap-forward development of emerging applications, the ubiquitous deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) is imperative to accommodate constantly growing user demands and market scales. Communication security is critically important for the operations of IoT. Among the communication security provisioning techniques, physical layer security (PLS), which can provide unbreakable, provable, and quantifiable secrecy from an information-theoretical point of view, has drawn considerable attention from both the academia and the industries. However, the unique features of IoT, such as low-cost, wide-range coverage, massive connection, and diversified services, impose great challenges for the PLS protocol design in IoT. In this article, we present a comprehensive review of the PLS techniques toward IoT applications. The basic principle of PLS is first briefly introduced, followed by the survey of the existing PLS techniques. Afterwards, the characteristics of IoT are identified, based on which the challenges faced by PLS protocol design are summarized. Then, three newly-proposed PLS solutions are highlighted, which match the features of IoT well and are expected to be applied in the near future. Finally, we conclude the paper and point out some further research directions.
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