Abstract

Quantum key distribution (QKD) has undergone significant development in recent decades, particularly with respect to free-space (air) and optical fiber channels. Here, we report a proof-of-principle experiment for the BB84 protocol QKD over a water channel. First, we demonstrate again the polarization preservation properties of the water channel in optical transmission according to the measured Mueller matrix, which is close to the unit matrix. The reason for the polarization preservation, revealed by Monte Carlo simulation, is that almost all the received photons are unscattered. Then, we performed the first polarization encoding BB84 protocol QKD over a 2.37 m water channel. The results show that QKD can be performed with a low quantum bit error rate, less than 3.5%, with different attenuation coefficients.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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