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Scientists realize faster method for quantum key distribution

Scientists realize faster method for quantum key distribution
A demonstration of quantum entanglement, a key mechanic behind quantum communication. Credit: CFP

Chinese scientists have successfully implemented a new way of quantum key distribution (QKD) which can boost the speed of intercity quantum networks.

Quantum network is known for its strong resistance against eavesdropping—theoretically, it's completely hacker-free. Data transferred through this kind of is encrypted, with the decryption key transferred through .

Current QKD methods have limited distances and can be challenging to implement, but the new method demonstrated hope to solve these problems.

The new method, named mode-pairing QKD (MP-QKD), was first proposed in 2022 by a research team led by Dr. Ma Xiongmeng at Tsinghua University. It does not require a technically challenging step called "phase locking" to be implemented.

The team cooperated with another team led by Professor Pan Jianwei, a pioneer in quantum communication in China, to put the new method into practice, and the performance was outstanding.

Details of the test were published in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

In the paper, the researchers said MP-QKD can achieve a "quadratic improvement" in key-rate—basically the of QKD—over traditional measurement-device-independent QKD (MDI-QKD) when used in metropolitan and intercity networks.

The new method also performs faster on longer distances like 300 to 400 kilometers, with a speed boost by three orders of magnitude, the paper said.

The paper added that MP-QKD can be achieved with "off-the-shelf lasers," thus is a "ready-to-implement" technology.

The scientists expect the new technology to be "widely used" in future intercity quantum networks.

More information: Hao-Tao Zhu et al, Experimental Mode-Pairing Measurement-Device-Independent Quantum Key Distribution without Global Phase Locking, Physical Review Letters (2023). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.130.030801

Journal information: Physical Review Letters

Provided by University of Science and Technology of China

Citation: Scientists realize faster method for quantum key distribution (2023, February 8) retrieved 2 March 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2023-02-scientists-faster-method-quantum-key.html
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