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Multimode states in decoy-based quantum-key-distribution protocols

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Mauerer,  Wolfgang
Silberhorn Research Group, Research Groups, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Silberhorn,  Christine
Silberhorn Research Group, Research Groups, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Helwig, W., Mauerer, W., & Silberhorn, C. (2009). Multimode states in decoy-based quantum-key-distribution protocols. PHYSICAL REVIEW A, 80(5): 052326. doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.80.052326.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-6B9D-2
Abstract
Every security analysis of quantum-key distribution (QKD) relies on a faithful modeling of the employed quantum states. Many photon sources, such as for instance a parametric down-conversion (PDC) source, require a multimode description but are usually only considered in a single-mode representation. In general, the important claim in decoy-based QKD protocols for indistinguishability between signal and decoy states does not hold for all sources. We derive bounds on the single-photon transmission probability and error rate for multimode states and apply these bounds to the output state of a PDC source. We observe two opposing effects on the secure key rate. First, the multimode structure of the state gives rise to a new attack that decreases the key rate. Second, more contributing modes change the photon number distribution from a thermal toward a Poissonian distribution, which increases the key rate.