Reference frame independent twin field quantum key distribution with source flaws

Comfort Sekga, Mhlambululi Mafu

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The trade-off between distance and secret key generation rate remains one of the major challenges in the practical implementation of quantum key distribution (QKD). As a solution, a twin field QKD protocol was proposed by Lucamarini et al (2018) to address this challenge. In this protocol, the achievable secret key rate scales with the square root of channel transmittance and can surpass the secret key capacity for repeaterless QKD. However, the protocol exploits phase to encode information which presents the problem of active stabilization of interferometers. We propose a reference frame independent twin field quantum key distribution (RFITF QKD), which does not require the reference frames’ alignment. Thus, this reduces the complexity of practical QKD systems in achieving active stabilization of phase. Moreover, we employ the loss-tolerant method proposed by Tamaki et al (2014) which allows us to prove the security of the protocol by considering imperfections in the state preparation. Our simulation results show that our proposed protocol can extract a secure key over a transmission distance of l = 505 km, l = 516 km and l = 530 km for deviation of 8.42°, 7.28° and 5.15°, respectively from the desired phase encoding angle. These results demonstrate that despite the state preparation flaws, the key rates achieved are still comparable to the perfect encoding scenario. When our proposed protocol is implemented with an imperfect source, it achieves a transmission distance beyond the secret key capacity bound for repeaterless QKD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045008
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Physics Communications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 14 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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