A study of polarization compensation for quantum networks
Photonics and Quantum Optics Research Unit, Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials and Sensing Devices, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
2 Quantum Engineering Technology Labs, H. H. Wills Physics Laboratory & Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
3 High Performance Networks Group, School of Computer Science, Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Engineering Maths (SCEEM), University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
4 ICFO – Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology, Castelldefels (Barcelona), Spain
5 Quantum Engineering Centre of Doctoral Training, NSQI, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
Accepted: 28 July 2023
Published online: 17 August 2023
The information-theoretic unconditional security offered by quantum key distribution has spurred the development of larger quantum communication networks. However, as these networks grow so does the strong need to reduce complexity and overheads. Polarization-based entanglement distribution networks are a promising approach due to their scalability and no need for trusted nodes. Nevertheless, they are only viable if the birefringence of all-optical distribution fibres in the network is compensated to preserve the polarization-based quantum state. The brute force approach would require a few hundred fibre polarization controllers for even a moderately sized network. Instead, we propose and investigate four different realizations of polarization compensation schemes that can be used in quantum networks. We compare them based on the type of reference signals, complexity, effort, level of disruption to network operations and performance on a four-user quantum network.
Key words: Quantum communication / Quantum networks / Entanglement / Polarization compensation / Quantum bit error rate
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2023
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