Secret key rate bounds for quantum key distribution with faulty active phase randomization
Vigo Quantum Communication Center, University of Vigo, E-36310, Vigo, Spain
2 Escuela de Ingeniería de Telecomunicación, Department of Signal Theory and Communications, University of Vigo, E-36310, Vigo, Spain
3 atlanTTic Research Center, University of Vigo, E-36310, Vigo, Spain
4 Faculty of Engineering, University of Toyama, Gofuku 3190, 930-8555, Toyama, Japan
Accepted: 5 December 2023
Published online: 15 December 2023
Decoy-state quantum key distribution (QKD) is undoubtedly the most efficient solution to handle multi-photon signals emitted by laser sources, and provides the same secret key rate scaling as ideal single-photon sources. It requires, however, that the phase of each emitted pulse is uniformly random. This might be difficult to guarantee in practice, due to inevitable device imperfections and/or the use of an external phase modulator for phase randomization in an active setup, which limits the possible selected phases to a finite set. Here, we investigate the security of decoy-state QKD when the phase is actively randomized by faulty devices, and show that this technique is quite robust to deviations from the ideal uniformly random scenario. For this, we combine a novel parameter estimation technique based on semi-definite programming, with the use of basis mismatched events, to tightly estimate the parameters that determine the achievable secret key rate. In doing so, we demonstrate that our analysis can significantly outperform previous results that address more restricted scenarios.
Key words: Quantum key distribution / Decoy state / Phase randomization / Source imperfections
© The Author(s) 2023
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