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Terahertz quantum cryptography

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JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communication
DateAccepted/In press - 6 Jan 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print - 30 Jan 2020
DatePublished (current) - Mar 2020
Issue number3
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)483-495
Early online date30/01/20
Original languageEnglish


A well-known empirical rule for the demand of wireless communication systems is that of Edholm's law of bandwidth. It states that the demand for bandwidth in wireless short-range communications doubles every 18 months. With the growing demand for bandwidth and the decreasing cell size of wireless systems, terahertz (THz) communication systems are expected to become increasingly important in modern day applications. With this expectation comes the need for protecting users' privacy and security in the best way possible. With that in mind, we show that quantum key distribution can operate in the THz regime and we derive the relevant secret key rates against realistic collective attacks. In the extended THz range (from 0.1 to 50 THz), we find that below 1 THz, the main detrimental factor is thermal noise, while at higher frequencies it is atmospheric absorption. Our results show that high-rate THz quantum cryptography is possible over distances varying from a few meters using direct reconciliation, to about 220m via reverse reconciliation. We also give a specific example of the physical hardware and architecture that could be used to realize our THz quantum key distribution scheme.

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    Research areas

  • quant-ph, cond-mat.other, physics.optics

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