NIST logo

Quantum Information Networks

Quantum Communication

                             

Quantum information science combines two of the great scientific and technological revolutions of the 20th century, quantum mechanics and information theory. According to the National Science and Technology Council’s 2008 report  “A Federal Vision for Quantum Information Science”, quantum information science will enable a range of exciting new possibilities including: greatly improved sensors with potential impact for mineral exploration , improved medical imaging and a revolutionary new computational paradigm that will likely lead to the creation of computation device capable of efficiently solving problems that cannot be solved on a classical computer.

One of the fundamentally important research areas involved in quantum information science is quantum communications, which deals with the exchange of information encoded in quantum states of matter or quantum bits (known as qubits) between both nearby and distant quantum systems. Our Quantum Communication project performs core research on the creation, transmission, processing and measurement of optical qubits – the quantum states of photons, with particular attention to application to future information technologies.
           


Single photons at telecommunication wavelengths can be detected with higher efficiency with our frequency up-conversion detector.

In the past few years, we have undertaken an intensive study of quantum key distribution (QKD) systems for secure communications. Specifically, we demonstrated high-speed QKD systems that generate secure keys for encryption and decryption of information using a one-time pad cipher, and extended them into a 3-node quantum communications network. We have demonstrated the strengths and observed the limitations of QKD systems and networks. One such limitation is the effective communication distance of a point-to-point QKD system, which is about 100 km. Quantum repeaters represent a promising solution to this distance limitation. It enables quantum information exchange between two distant quantum systems including quantum computers. Though quantum repeaters are conceptually feasible, there are tremendous challenges to their development. Our goal in this area is to identify the problems, find potential solutions and evaluate their capabilities and limitations for future quantum communication applications.

In summary, we perform research and development (R&D) in quantum communication and related measurement areas with an emphasis on applications in information technology. Our R&D is aimed to promote US innovation, industrial competitiveness and enhance the nation’s security. This website shows the footprint of our R&D efforts in the past few years.

For more information concerning this program, please contact project leader Dr. Xiao Tang (xiao.tang@nist.gov).

           

Keywords: quantum communication, quantum measurement science, entangled photons, quantum teleportation and repeaters, free space optics, quantum cryptography, photon source/detectors.           

*

 

Project Mission
To conduct quantum information related research to:
blue bullet
Provide solutions for advanced quantum information science and technology to enhance US industrial competitiveness.
blue bullet
Develop and exploit new calibration and metrology techniques to achieve standardization in the area of quantum information and communication.
blue bullet
Provide an infrastructure for quantum communication metrology, testing, calibration, and technology development.



Most Resent Publications
Lijun Ma, S Nam, Hai Xu, B Baek, Tiejun Chang, O Slattery, A Mink and Xiao Tang, " 1310 nm differential-phase-shift QKD system using superconducting single-photon detectors ". New Journal of Physics, Vol. 11, April 2009.

Alan Mink, Joshua C Bienfang, Robert Carpenter, Lijun Ma, Barry Hershman, Alessandro Restelli and Xiao Tang, " Programmable instrumentation and gigahertz signaling for single-photon quantum communication systems ". New Journal of Physics, Vol. 11, April 2009.

Lijun Ma, Alan Mink and Xiao Tang, "High Speed Quantum Key Distribution over Optical Fiber Network System ", Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Vol. 114, Number 3, Page 149, May- June 2009.

A. Mink, S. Frankel, and R. Perlner, " Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) and Commodity Security Protocols: Introduction and Integration ", International Journal of network security and its applications, Vol. 1, No. 2, July 2009.

Lijun Ma, Oliver Slattery, Tiejun Chang and Xiao Tang, " Non-degenerated sequential time-bin entanglement generation using periodically poled KTP waveguide ", Optics Express, Vol. 17 Issue 18, pp.15799-15807 (2009).

Lijun Ma, Oliver Slattery and Xiao Tang, " Experimental study of high sensitivity infrared spectrometer with waveguide-based up-conversion detector ", Optics Express Vol. 17, Issue 16, pp. 14395–14404 (2009).

Xiao Tang, Lijun Ma, Oliver Slattery, “Single photon detection and spectral measurement in near infrared region using up-conversion technology” invited talk, presented at LPHYS09, Barcelona, Spain, July 13-17, 2009.

Lijun Ma, Oliver Slattery, Tiejun Chang and Xiao Tang, “Sequential time-bin entanglement generation using periodically poled KTP waveguide”, CLEO/ IQEC (Optical Society of America, Washington, DC, 2009), JWA85.

Xiao Tang, Lijun Ma, Oliver Slattery, “Single photon detection and spectral measurement in near infrared region using up-conversion technology” invited talk, presented at LPHYS09, Barcelona, Spain, July 13-17, 2009.

Burm Baek, Lijun Ma, Alan Mink, Xiao Tang and Sae Woo Nam, " Detector performance in long-distance quantum key distribution using superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors ", Proc. SPIE, Vol. 7320, 73200D (2009).

Oliver Slattery, Alan Mink, and Xiao Tang, " Low noise up-conversion single photon detector and its applications in quantum information systems ", Proc. of SPIE Vol. 7465, 74650W, 2009.

Oliver Slattery, Lijun Ma and Xiao Tang, " Optimization of photon pair generation in dual-element PPKTP waveguide ", Proc. of SPIE Vol. 7465, 74650K, 2009.

Oliver Slattery, Lijun Ma and Xiao Tang, “High-Speed Coincidence Photon Pair Generation by Dual-Element PPKTP Waveguide over GHz repetition rate”, submitted to Frontier in Optics 2009 (the 93rd annual meeting of Optical Society of American, San Jose, October, 2009). WERB review approved.




Contact

David Su
(301) 975-6194
david.su@nist.gov