Analysis of detector performance in a gigahertz clock rate quantum key distribution system

Patrick J. Clarke, Robert J. Collins, Philip A. Hiskett, Maria-Jose Garcia-Martinez, Nils J. Krichel, Aongus McCarthy, Michael G. Tanner, John A. O'Connor, Chandra M. Natarajan, Shigehito Miki, Masahide Sasaki, Zhen Wang, Mikio Fujiwara, Ivan Rech, Massimo Ghioni, Angelo Gulinatti, Robert H. Hadfield, Paul D. Townsend, Gerald S. Buller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


We present a detailed analysis of a gigahertz clock rate environmentally robust phase-encoded quantum key distribution (QKD) system utilizing several different single-photon detectors, including the first implementation of an experimental resonant cavity thin-junction silicon single-photon avalanche diode. The system operates at a wavelength of 850 nm using standard telecommunications optical fibre. A general-purpose theoretical model for the performance of QKD systems is presented with reference to these experimental results before predictions are made about realistic detector developments in this system. We discuss, with reference to the theoretical model, how detector operating parameters can be further optimized to maximize key exchange rates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075008
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages23
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2011


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