Chip-based quantum key distribution

Philip Sibson, Chris Erven, Jeremy O'Brien, Mark Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

252 Citations (Scopus)
778 Downloads (Pure)


Improvement in secure transmission of information is an urgent need for governments, corporations and individuals. Quantum key distribution (QKD) promises security based on the laws of physics and has rapidly grown from proof-of-concept to robust demonstrations and deployment of commercial systems. Despite these advances, QKD has not been widely adopted, and large-scale deployment will likely require chip-based devices for improved performance, miniaturization and enhanced functionality. Here we report low error rate, GHz clocked QKD operation of an indium phosphide transmitter chip and a silicon oxynitride receiver chip—monolithically integrated devices using components and manufacturing processes from the telecommunications industry. We use the reconfigurability of these devices to demonstrate three prominent QKD protocols—BB84, Coherent One Way and Differential Phase Shift—with performance comparable to state-of-the-art. These devices, when combined with integrated single photon detectors, pave the way for successfully integrating QKD into future telecommunications networks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13984
Number of pages6
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2017

Structured keywords

  • Bristol Quantum Information Institute
  • QETLabs


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