Breaking the Rate-Loss Relationship of Quantum Key Distribution with Asynchronous Two-Photon Interference

by   Yuan-Mei Xie, et al.

Twin-field quantum key distribution can overcome the repeaterless bound via single-photon interference. However, the requirements of phase-locking and phase-tracking techniques drastically increase the experimental complexity, economic cost and prohibit free-space realization. Inspired by the duality in entanglement, we herein present an asynchronous measurement-device-independent quantum key distribution protocol that can surpass the repeaterless bound even without phase locking and phase tracking. Leveraging the concept of time multiplexing, asynchronous two-photon Bell-state measurement is realized by postmatching two interference detection events. For a 1 GHz system, the new protocol reaches a transmission distance of 450 km without phase tracking. After further removing phase locking, our protocol is still capable of breaking the bound at 270 km by employing a 10 GHz system. Intriguingly, when using the same experimental techniques, our protocol has a higher key rate than the phase-matching-type twin-field protocol. In the presence of imperfect intensity modulation, it also has a significant advantage in terms of the transmission distance over the sending-or-not-sending type twin-field protocol. With high key rates and accessible technology, our work paves the way for realistic global quantum networks across space, air, and water to the ground.


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