Radiofrequency emanations of a single-photon detector

John Pantoja*, Alfonso Tello, Dimitrios Anagnostou, J. Kirrane, M. Stonehouse, A. Koehler-Sidki, M. Natrella, Ross J. Donaldson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Quantum key distribution (QKD) offers the possibility of information theoretic secure key establishment. However, non-ideal behaviour of some components used in practical implementations causes security risks and loopholes that need to be addressed. Previously identified loopholes have resulted in changes to hardware and the invention of new QKD protocols. In this document, we report an investigation into the eavesdropping risk due to out-of-band radiofrequency emanations produced by a QKD receiver. We present experimental results that show a QKD receiver may produce significant pulsed-like emissions that can be detected by a passive eavesdropper antenna to identify clicks in single-photon detectors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQuantum Engineering and Technology Conference (QET 2023)
PublisherInstitution of Engineering and Technology
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781837240135
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2024
EventQuantum Engineering and Technology Conference 2023 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Oct 202331 Oct 2023


ConferenceQuantum Engineering and Technology Conference 2023
Abbreviated titleQET 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • QKD
  • QKD receiver
  • SPAD
  • Single-photon detector
  • side-band attack

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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