Abstract

We present a new scheme for realizing passive decoy-state quantum key distribution with the SARG04 protocol. It is based on parametric down-conversion sources, and we do not need to modulate the pumping light into different intensities. By applying local-mode-splitting detections on Alice’s side, legitimate users can obtain four different kinds of counting events on Bob’s side, due to intrinsic correlations between photon pairs from parametric down-conversion processes. In the new scheme, we do not need to modulate signal pulses into different intensities and can, thus, avoid introducing any intensity modulating uncertainty. As a result, quite precise estimations of single- or multi-photon-pulse contributions can be obtained, enabling better performance of the key generation rate and transmission distance compared with other existing SARG04 protocols, e.g., the four-intensity decoy-state method using either parametric down-conversion sources or weak coherent sources. Besides, through comparisons, we also find that the proposed new passive decoy-state SARG04 protocol can also show some superiority over the conventional three-intensity decoy-state BB84 protocol at long transmission distances under certain experimental conditions.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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