Abstract

We propose orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), as a spectrally efficient multiplexing technique, for quantum key distribution at the core of trusted-node quantum networks. Two main schemes are proposed and analyzed in detail, considering system imperfections, specifically, time misalignment issues. It turns out that while multiple service providers can share the network infrastructure using the proposed multiplexing techniques, no gain in the total secret key generation rate is obtained if one uses conventional passive all-optical OFDM decoders. To achieve a linear increase in the key rate with the number of channels, an alternative active setup for OFDM decoding is proposed, which employs an optical switch in addition to conventional passive circuits. We show that by using our proposed decoder, the bandwidth utilization is considerably improved as compared to conventional wavelength-division multiplexing techniques.

© 2015 IEEE

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