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Numerical assessment and optimization of discrete-variable time-frequency quantum key distribution

: Rödiger, J.; Perlot, N.; Mottola, R.; Elschner, R.; Weinert, C.-M.; Benson, O.; Freund, R.


Physical review. A 95 (2017), Nr.5, Art. 052312
ISSN: 2469-9926
ISSN: 2469-9934
Fraunhofer HHI ()

The discrete-variables (DV) time-frequency (TF) quantum key distribution (QKD) protocol is a BB84-like protocol, which utilizes time and frequency as complementary bases. As orthogonal modulations, pulse position modulation (PPM) and frequency shift keying (FSK) are capable of transmitting several bits per symbol, i.e., per photon. However, unlike traditional binary polarization shift keying, PPM and FSK do not allow perfectly complementary bases. So information is not completely deleted when the wrong-basis filters are applied. Since a general security proof does not yet exist, we numerically assess DV-TF-QKD. We show that the secret key rate increases with a higher number of symbols per basis. Further we identify the optimal pulse relations in the two bases in terms of key rate and resistance against eavesdropping attacks.