Efficient Time-Bin Encoding for Practical High-Dimensional Quantum Key Distribution

Ilaria Vagniluca, Beatrice Da Lio, Davide Rusca, Daniele Cozzolino, Yunhong Ding, Hugo Zbinden, Alessandro Zavatta, Leif K. Oxenløwe, Davide Bacco

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High-dimensional quantum key distribution (QKD) allows achievement of information-theoretic secure communications, providing high key-generation rates, which cannot, in principle, be obtained by QKD protocols with binary encoding. Nonetheless, the amount of experimental resources needed increases as the quantum states to be detected belong to a larger Hilbert space, thus raising the costs of practical high-dimensional systems. Here, we present an alternative scheme for fiber-based four-dimensional QKD, with time and phase encoding and one-decoy state technique. Quantum state transmission is tested over different channel lengths up to 145 km of standard single-mode fiber, evaluating the enhancement of the secret key rate in comparison to the three-state two-dimensional BB84 protocol, which is tested with the same experimental setup. Our scheme allows measurement of the four-dimensional states with a simplified and compact receiver, where only two single-photon detectors are necessary, thus making it a cost-effective solution for practical and fiber-based QKD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014051
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


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