Polarization-based plug-and-play measurement-device-independent quantum key distribution

  • Min Hu
  • Litao Zhang
  • Banghong GuoEmail author
  • Jun Li


Measurement-device-independent quantum key distribution (MDI-QKD) has received much attention, with the goal of overcoming all of the security loopholes caused by an imperfect detection system. We here propose a plug-and-play MDI-QKD (P&P MDI-QKD) scheme whereby an untrusted relay node, Charlie, owns a laser and sends photons to Alice and Bob. Alice (Bob) modulates the polarization of the incident photons and returns them to Charlie. Charlie uses a modified Bell state analyzer (BSA) to perform Bell state measurements (BSM). In comparison with the original version of MDI-QKD, our scheme exploits a single untrusted laser as the photon source. This makes the signal photons identical and enhances the Hong-Ou-Mandel effect. Second, because of the P&P structure, the setup can automatically eliminate the birefringence influence of the fibers, which makes the setup highly stable. Finally, our modified BSA can identify \({{\left| \varPhi \right\rangle }^{+}}\) and \({{\left| \varPhi \right\rangle }^{-}}\) of four Bell states with polarization encoding but not \({{\left| \varPsi \right\rangle }^{+}}\) and \({{\left| \varPsi \right\rangle }^{-}}\). Based on practical experimental parameters, a simulation showed that the maximum theoretical secure transmission distance could reach more 280 km.


Quantum cryptography Quantum key distribution Measurement-device-independent Plug-and-play 



This work is financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61572203); the Open Research Fund (Grant No. KQI201508) of the Key Lab of Quantum Information, Chinese Academy of Sciences; the Open Research Fund (Grant No. SKLST201602) of the State Key Laboratory of Transient Optics and Photonics, Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Guangdong Innovative Research Team Program (Grant No. 201001D0104799318).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Nanophotonic Functional Materials and Devices, School of Information and Optoelectronic Science and EngineeringSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.College of Computer Science and Software EngineeringShenzhen UniversityShenzhenChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Transient Optics and PhotonicsChinese Academy of SciencesXi’anChina
  4. 4.Key Laboratory of Quantum InformationUniversity of Science and Technology of China, Chinese Academy of SciencesHefeiChina
  5. 5.South China Academy of Advanced OptoelectronicsSouth China Normal UniversityGuangzhouChina

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