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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 5 — Feb. 28, 2011
  • pp: 3825–3834

Fast optical source for quantum key distribution based on semiconductor optical amplifiers

M. Jofre, A. Gardelein, G. Anzolin, W. Amaya, J. Capmany, R. Ursin, L. Peñate, D. Lopez, J. L. San Juan, J. A. Carrasco, F. Garcia, F. J. Torcal-Milla, L. M. Sanchez-Brea, E. Bernabeu, J. M. Perdigues, T. Jennewein, J. P. Torres, M. W. Mitchell, and V. Pruneri  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 5, pp. 3825-3834 (2011)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.19.003825


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Abstract

A novel integrated optical source capable of emitting faint pulses with different polarization states and with different intensity levels at 100 MHz has been developed. The source relies on a single laser diode followed by four semiconductor optical amplifiers and thin film polarizers, connected through a fiber network. The use of a single laser ensures high level of indistinguishability in time and spectrum of the pulses for the four different polarizations and three different levels of intensity. The applicability of the source is demonstrated in the lab through a free space quantum key distribution experiment which makes use of the decoy state BB84 protocol. We achieved a lower bound secure key rate of the order of 3.64 Mbps and a quantum bit error ratio as low as 1.14 × 10−2 while the lower bound secure key rate became 187 bps for an equivalent attenuation of 35 dB. To our knowledge, this is the fastest polarization encoded QKD system which has been reported so far. The performance, reduced size, low power consumption and the fact that the components used can be space qualified make the source particularly suitable for secure satellite communication.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(060.2605) Fiber optics and optical communications : Free-space optical communication
(060.5565) Fiber optics and optical communications : Quantum communications
(270.5568) Quantum optics : Quantum cryptography

ToC Category:
Quantum Optics

History
Original Manuscript: October 7, 2010
Revised Manuscript: January 11, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: February 8, 2011
Published: February 14, 2011

Citation
M. Jofre, A. Gardelein, G. Anzolin, W. Amaya, J. Capmany, R. Ursin, L. Penate, D. Lopez, J. L. San Juan, J. A. Carrasco, F. Garcia, F. J. Torcal-Milla, L. M. Sanchez-Brea, E. Bernabeu, J. M. Perdigues, T. Jennewein, J. P. Torres, M. W. Mitchell, and V. Pruneri, "Fast optical source for quantum key distribution based on semiconductor optical amplifiers," Opt. Express 19, 3825-3834 (2011)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-19-5-3825


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