: Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication scheme for sharing symmetric cryptographic keys based on the laws of quantum physics, and is considered a key player in the realm of cyber-security. A critical challenge for QKD systems comes from the fact that the ever-increasing rates at which digital data are transmitted require more and more performing sources of quantum keys, primarily in terms of secret key generation rate. High-dimensional QKD based on path encoding has been proposed as a candidate approach to address this challenge. However, while proof-of-principle demonstrations based on lab experiments have been reported in the literature, demonstrations in realistic environments are still missing. Here we report the generation of secret keys in a 4-dimensional hybrid time-path-encoded QKD system over a 52-km deployed multicore fiber link forming by looping back two cores of a 26-km 4-core optical fiber. Our results indicate that robust high-dimensional QKD can be implemented in a realistic environment by combining standard telecom equipment with emerging multicore fiber technology.

Practical high-dimensional quantum key distribution protocol over deployed multicore fiber

Zahidy, Mujtaba;Ribezzo, Domenico;Cassioli, Dajana;Mecozzi, Antonio;Antonelli, Cristian;
2024-01-01

Abstract

: Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication scheme for sharing symmetric cryptographic keys based on the laws of quantum physics, and is considered a key player in the realm of cyber-security. A critical challenge for QKD systems comes from the fact that the ever-increasing rates at which digital data are transmitted require more and more performing sources of quantum keys, primarily in terms of secret key generation rate. High-dimensional QKD based on path encoding has been proposed as a candidate approach to address this challenge. However, while proof-of-principle demonstrations based on lab experiments have been reported in the literature, demonstrations in realistic environments are still missing. Here we report the generation of secret keys in a 4-dimensional hybrid time-path-encoded QKD system over a 52-km deployed multicore fiber link forming by looping back two cores of a 26-km 4-core optical fiber. Our results indicate that robust high-dimensional QKD can be implemented in a realistic environment by combining standard telecom equipment with emerging multicore fiber technology.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/226959
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